TRANSLATION: Laura Spencer plays Jane Bennet in a web drama update of Pride and Prejudice.

Jane Austen in California

How might three postmodern suburban sisters separated from Jane Austen by 200 years, an ocean, the women’s movement and the sexual revolution, live the narrative of Pride and Prejudice? “Our goal,” write Hank Green and Bernie Su, creators of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries (lizziebennet.com), “is to tell and honor a great story in a way never experienced before.” In setting out to adapt a novel into a web series styled as a video blog, it helps to begin with one of most loved—and most adapted—stories of all time.

The series, which posted its last webisode in March, is self-aware and humorous in trying to show how stories ring true across time and space. Because it was designed for viewer interaction across Internet platforms, viewers had their say about how the diaries navigate that territory. Viewers’ affection for the diaries testifies to the success of the project in performing Austen for the contemporary world.

 

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