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Publisher's Summary

Sense and Sensibility - narrated by Gugu Mbatha-Raw.

Austen introduces us to the Dashwood sisters who upon the death of their father are left with little money, status or their family home. Marianne wears her heart on her sleeve and when she falls in love with the dashing but unsuitable John Willoughby she ignores her sister Elinor's warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Meanwhile Elinor, always sensitive to social convention, is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment.

Directed by Celia de Wolff. Adapted by Anna Lea. With Bessie Carter, Anya Chalotra, Josh Dylan, Robert Glenister, Paterson Joseph, Emma Mackey, Hattie Morahan, Carl Prekopp, Blake Ritson, Lesley Sharp, Fenella Woolgar, Nicolas Armfield, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Lily Cooper and Tom Glenister.

Pride and Prejudice - narrated by Claire Foy.

Centred around the Bennet family, their five unmarried daughters and their mother’s desperation for at least one of them to make a wealthy match to save the family from destitution. When Charles Bingley moves into nearby Netherfield, it seems that Jane, the eldest, may have found her match, but it also introduces Elizabeth to Bingley’s friend, the aloof Mr Darcy.

Directed by Nicolette Chin. Adapted by Sian Owen, script edited by Anna Lea. With Tarrick Benham, Nicole Davis, Barnaby Edwards, Billie Fulford-Brown, Rebecca Front, Emma Gregory, Ferdinand Kingsley, Chris Lew Kum Hoi, Tim McInnerny, Heather Nicol, Sarah Ovens, Janet Prince, Jenny Rainsford, Jennifer Saayeng, Sam Stafford, Katy Sobey, Homer Todiwala, Patience Tomlinson and Simon Yadoo.

Mansfield Park - narrated by Billie Piper.

Adopted into the household of her uncle, Sir Thomas Bertram, Fanny Price grows up a meek outsider among her cousins in the unaccustomed elegance of Mansfield Park. Soon after Sir Thomas leaves on business, Mary Crawford and her brother, Henry, arrive at Mansfield, bringing with them London glamour and the seductive taste for flirtation and theatre that precipitates a crisis.

Directed by Tamsin Collison. Adapted by Catherine Dyson, script edited by Anna Lea. With Matt Addis, Lucy Briers, James Corrigan, Scarlett Courtney, Rosalind Eleazar, Jennifer English, Emma Fielding, Ash Hunter, Joel MacCormack, Harry Myers, Esme Scarborough, Lucy Scott, Bert Seymour and Natalie Simpson.

Emma - narrated by Emma Thompson.

Emma is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage; nothing delights her more than matchmaking her fellow residents of Highbury. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr. Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protegee Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected.

Directed by Katherine Thompson. Adapted by Anna Lea.

Isabella Inchbald played Emma Woodhouse, and Joseph Millson played George Knightley.  

With Alexa Davies, Joanne Froggatt, Adam Gillen, Rupert Holliday-Evans, Isabella Inchbald, Aisling Loftus, Anjella Mackintosh, Joseph Millson, Ukweli Roach, Morgana Robinson, Nicholas Rowe, Benjamin Wainwright, Eve Webster and Ria Zmitrowicz.

Northanger Abbey - narrated by Emma Thompson.

A coming-of-age tale for naïve 17-year-old Catherine Morland, Northanger Abbey takes a comical look at themes of class, family, love and literature. Revelling in the sensationalist - and extremely popular - Gothic fiction of the day, the story follows Catherine out of Bath to the lofty manor of the Tilneys, where her overactive imagination gets to work constructing an absurd and melodramatic explanation for the death of Mrs Tilney, which threatens to jeopardise her newly forged friendships. 

Directed by Katherine Thompson. Adapted by Anna Lea.

With Douglas Booth, Robin Brown, Gunnar Cauthery, Anna Chancellor, Lily Cole, Beth Goddard, Nickolas Grace, Jeremy Irvine, Carla Mendonca, Ella Purnell, George Rainsford, Simon Shepherd, Emma Thompson, Eleanor Tomlinson, Lorraine Ansell, Naomi Felton, Bethan Rose Young as Anne Thorpe and Joanna Ruiz.

Persuasion - narrated by Florence Pugh.

Anne Elliot, daughter of the snobbish Sir Walter, is woman of quiet charm and deep feelings. Eight years before our story begins, she is happily betrothed to naval officer Frederick Wentworth, but she breaks off the engagement when persuaded by her friend Lady Russell that such a match is unworthy. The breakup produces in Anne a deep and long-lasting regret.

Directed by Emma Hearn. Adapted by Anna Lea. With Annabel Baldwin, Michael Fox, Julian Wadham, Laure Stockley, Lizzie Stables, Oscar Batterham, Ewan Bailey, Samantha Béart, Andrew Wheildon-Dennis, Al Weaver, Tom Andrew, Molly Harris, Martha Mackintosh, Vineeta Rishi, Isabel Adomakoh Young and Sophie Aldred.

Public Domain (P)2020 Audible, Ltd

About the Performer

Florence Pugh received both BAFTA and Oscar nominations for her performance as Amy in Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, which received rave reviews across the board. In the same year, she starred in Ari Aster’s terrifying cult hit Midsommar and in Stephen Merchant’s Fighting with My Family, playing the lead alongside Dwayne Johnson, Lena Headey, Nick Frost and Jack Lowden. Florence will next be seen in Marvel’s highly anticipated Black Widow and Olivia Wilde’s latest directorial outing, Don’t Worry Darling. Her other film and TV credits include Outlaw King, Lady Macbeth, The Little Drummer Girl and King Lear.

About the Performer

In 2020, Gugu Mbatha-Raw starred in the British comedy-drama Misbehaviour alongside Keira Knightley and in Jessica Swale’s Summerland with Gemma Arterton. Her previous film and TV credits include the acclaimed Apple TV+ series The Morning Show, Warner Bros Motherless Brooklyn, Beyond The Lights and the Emmy award winning episode of Black Mirror, San Junipero. Gugu has worked on a number of Disney productions, including the smash hit Beauty and the Beast, Ava DuVernay's A Wrinkle in Time and the forthcoming Loki for Disney +. Gugu has also received multiple award nominations throughout her career, winning the BIFA Award for Best Actress in 2013 for her role in Belle directed by Amma Asante.

About the Performer

Since her screen debut in the 2008 supernatural comedy series Being Human, actress Claire Foy has gone on to win numerous awards, including a Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy. Her starring roles on stage and screen include her iconic turn as the young Queen Elizabeth II in the acclaimed Netflix series The Crown and Janet Shearon, wife of astronaut Neil Armstrong in Damien Chazelle’s biopic First Man. Claire also works extensively as an ambassador for UNICEF.

About the Performer

In 2020, Billie Piper starred in Sky Atlantic’s I Hate Suzie which she also co-created with Lucy Prebble. The previous year, she was BAFTA nominated for her performance in David Hare’s Collateral for the BBC and Netflix and before that won The Best Actress at the Olivier, Evening Standard, Critics Circle and Drama Desk awards for her role in the Young Vic’s Yerma. Rare Beasts, her feature directorial debut which she wrote and also stars in, premiered at the Venice Film Festival with a cinema release in Spring 2021.

About the Performer

Dame Emma Thompson is a British actress and screenwriter known for her sophisticated, skillful performances and her arch wit. Born in London into a family of actors, she launched her acting career with Cambridge University’s Footlights Dramatic Club, where members of Monty Python first met. Moving from comedy, she found her niche in period drama. In 1993, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress for Howards End. She went on to gain acclaim for her roles in The Remains of the Day and Sense and Sensibility, for which she also wrote the screenplay, winning her a second Academy Award. Thompson’s other notable screen credits include Wit, Love Actually, Saving Mr. Banks and The Children Act.

What listeners say about The Jane Austen Collection

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

A play rather than a reading

I've been listening all of about 5 minutes and I'm done. It's not for me. I found it awkward and distracting. Others may prefer it.

6 people found this helpful

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Each book is different

If you love Jane Austen, this is a nice little bundle. I was a little annoyed because I've already spent credits on individual versions of some of these books and I couldn't return them. Here is an individual review of each book:

Sense and Sensibility:
This is easily the WORST adaptation of the book that I have ever come across. The voice actors did very little for me. Marianne is somehow made into an unbearable, petulant character who looses all her nuance. And what is with the mournful, depressing music in between chapters?! The individual version narrated by Rosamund Pike is miles better, with one single narrator doing a better job of portraying the different personalities.

Pride & Prejudice:
Claire Foy is a great narrator and the individual voice actors are quite good. I did not love the voice of Lizzie, but I think that was personal preference. This is a good lite adaptation of a classic novel. I would not recommend this over the actual full text. They did not include one of the very BEST conversations (my absolute favourite) between Mr Darcy and Lizzie and I cannot get over that!!! Rosamund Pike's version of the full book is better.

Mansfield Park:
Good version, good voice acting and does not miss anything particular in the story. Would recommend as an enjoyable read. However, again, Francis Barker's individual version of the full book is better.

Emma:
One of my favourite non-full-book versions of Emma! Great voice acting, Emma Thompson is spectacular as are the individual performances. The shortened version makes you miss some of Austen's great narrative moments, but on the whole I highly recommend.

Northanger Abbey:
Most people's least favourite Jane Austen novel, and certainly mine. But this is a fun version and the title voice actor who plays Catherine is so wonderful and endearing. The voice of Isabella is also absolutely perfect. Would recommend, and you miss nothing by listening to this adaptation over reading the actual novel.

Persuasion:
This might be my favourite adaptation of a beloved novel. I loved the voice actors and they captured and portrayed this curious love story in a particularly endearing way. Some parts of the narrative are changed quite a bit, however I do not feel like it negatively affects the story. Different, but a good difference.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Sheer delight

If you like Jane Austen this is a must-have addition to your collection. The full cast and the music adds a wonderful depth of feeling.

3 people found this helpful

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A must for any fan of Jane Austen

I can not express how much I love this version of all of Jane Austen’s books. It is so well done and truly brings the books to life. The cast is just perfect and brings so much feeling to the books. Such an amazing cast!! I know I will listen to it again and again!!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fabulous Entertainment

The quality of the narration is superb; Emma Thompson above all. A great way to listen to a most clever interpretation of Jane Austun, whiling away many pleasurable hours whilst knitting painting cooking etc

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent!!

This collection made me fall in love with Jane Austen! the narrators and full cast are so well done - I read all 6 books and high recommend!

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

NOT original and the changes are not organic

The audio books are altered and they are NOT original.

If the changes were just to dramatize/ spice up, I would have given a higher rating.

But the changes are not organic and do not match the characters. The most disappointing one is when Mr. Darcy propose.
After Elizabeth told him her heart has changed, she further urged “please do not remain silent sir” - this in very unlikely. Even though she is frank, her words have always been well chosen and subtle but clear. This sentence is really unnecessarily added. Then Darcy said “will you be my wife” - this is even worse. The text book proposal is would you make me the happiest man. People don’t propose then like we do now. And that is the beauty of theses books but the audiobook just ruined it. Worst of the worst is the timing. In the original, Darcy proposed almost immediately, then they had confessions of how his long letter and Elizebeth’s visit had affected them. But in the audible they confessed and talked sweetly, then he proposed. Really? Do you really think a gentleman like him would call a lady “my dearest “ before she becomes his?

I don’t know why all the changes were made. But they are not just unnecessary, they are illogical, inorganic and forcing, and turn the couple out of their characters, and make the relationship more modern than it should have been.

The performance are otherwise good. But I won’t recommend the audio book. If you really want to read Jane Austin, go with the original.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not an audiobook

When I purchased it, I was under the impression it would be a reading of the original text. Come to find it's a dramatization; disappointing.
The production value is great as is the quality of performance etc - just not for anyone hoping to listen to the books.

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For all Jane Austen fans

Loved the stories performed in this format. Having read the books & watched the screen version, wasn't too sure about the audiobooks, but so glad I did.

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Enjoyable

I really enjoyed listening to these versions of Jane Austen’s novels.
Northanger Abbey is usually my least favourite book .Emma Thompson was the narrator and she made me laugh out loud in parts. It turned out it was my favourite book in this Audible edition.
The characters came to life and the music and background sounds enhanced the stories.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-11-12

Brilliant, a few disappointments, good labels

Emma & Northanger Abbey: In case you missed it, this collection includes Emma & Northanger Abbey with Emma Thompson that were previously released in 2018 and 2017. They are superb, and have been richly discussed already.

Pride and Prejudice: Claire Foy is a brilliant narrator! She does a fantastic job conveying both the excitement of each scene and Austen’s subtle irony. There are also great performances from the main cast: Lizzy, Darcy, Jane, Mr. Bingley, and Mr. Collins (to name a few notable characters) are carefully delineated and the energy among them is captivating. However, I was disappointed with some of the supporting cast. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet are incredibly dull; at times it feels as if the two actors are just reading their lines cold. This is a shame, especially when compared to the endearing Alison Steadman and Benjamin Whitrow (BBC series, 1995) or the hilarious Brenda Blethyn and Donald Sutherland (2005). The excessive giggling makes Lydia and Kitty indistinguishable and all the nuances of their characters have been done away with. Overall, it is a delightful drama even if it falls short of the Emma & Northanger Abbey adaptations in the same collection.

Persuasion: This is my favorite Austen novel, and I always thought the 1995 TV film with Amanda Root and Ciarán Hinds the most faithful adaptation of any of her work. So the stakes were a bit high for this one. Florence Pugh is a dynamic narrator. At first I thought that she was reading way too fast, but then I came around to her performance. Anne’s life feels suspended in time, as if she has been forgotten, and Pugh’s narration brings out Anne’s deep, hidden feelings that are the bedrock of the novel. The cast is very strong with one notable exception. Anne is perfect and so is Lady Russel. But Captain Wentworth! He sounds old, beaten up, and melancholic, when he is supposed to be at the pinnacle of his career and incredibly full of life and energetic (in contrast to Anne in the first part of the story). His character is disappointing, but does not ruin the experience. There are also a couple of unusual choices: Elizabeth is more reasonable and sympathetic than perhaps Austen intended, and Captain Wentworth has his sister, Mrs. Croft, too much in his confidence. Overall, it is a fresh and enjoyable rendition of Austen’s last novel, and I will listen to it again.

Sense and Sensibility & Mansfield Park: Not my favorite Austen novels, so I have yet to finish them. The first few chapters of Sense and Sensibility are promising.

Easy to navigate: This is in response to a previous review from Amazon UK. At least in the US, the titles are clearly labeled and I can easily navigate between the dramas both on the app and on the website. I got the collection when it was released on November 5, 2020, and I haven’t had any technical issues.

62 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anne McClain
  • 2020-12-13

Not a faithful rendition

The first thing that threw me off was the music behind the narration. Too distracting and didn’t necessarily follow the mood of what was happening in the story.
The second and most unforgivable thing is that things have been rewritten, I assume to make the performance of different parts “work” but changing Jane Austen’s words is perilous. I listened to Sense and Sensibility and felt that it was off somehow and then listened to Pride and Prejudice and knew it was off. Mr. Darcy’s proposal was reordered and made strange. Anyone who is a true Austen aficionado will be unable to enjoy this despite the excellent performances. The script is unfaithful and the background music distracting. Sorry. I had hoped to enjoy this. The Rosalind Pilcher version is much more satisfying!

49 people found this helpful

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  • Monhegan Monarch
  • 2020-12-19

Waste of time!

These are "retellings" of Austen's works, not the original text. Absolute drivel. Even as something to go to sleep to these are not worth the listen.

31 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • HMVincent
  • 2021-01-09

Please give me an OFF button for the music!

I’m really sorry. I’m only partway through “Sense and Sensibility” and am ready to throw the book out the window, if the book was physical. There is background music that has nothing to do with the story; it has no purpose at all except to distract from the reading. I am gritting my teeth!

17 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Marianne
  • 2021-01-02

It’s free so...

It’s free. That’s the best I can say.
Difficult to distinguish between the actors voices so you can’t really tell one character from another: confusing. In the same scene it sounds like one actor is recording script from their toilet and another is reading miles away from their garden or car or shed. Distracting background noises (a baby cried for an entire scene). True reading from books though.

16 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • R. Riffel
  • 2021-01-24

Cliffnotes

This is an abridged adaptation with performed dialogue. Florence Pugh is great but the format is clunky and offputting.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-12-11

Well worth your time

Refreshing productions of the Jane Austen books . Well performed, phenomenal really. Great music as well.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Emily J. Couch
  • 2020-12-02

loved Persuasion!

I really enjoyed Persuasion. haven't listened to the others yet, but it's really well done so far!

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Emory
  • 2021-02-19

Wonderful Adaptations

If you don't mind them not being unabridged or the fact they come with music and ambience noises (which I actually enjoyed), then there's nothing wrong with these Austen adaptations. For the most part (save a few minor characters and not accounting for difference in personal taste), they are well narrated and maintain all the best lines. And they certainly maintain the tone of the original novels. My new favorite versions to listen to!

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Melissa Elliott
  • 2021-01-12

A Splendid Journey through Austen

I absolutely LOVED & continue to love this performance of Jane Austen's great works! I'm a huge Austen fan & really enjoyed these adaptations. Please please please do more of the all time greatest books in this way! I would love to listen to more of the classics performed like this. Great acting & narration that kept me entertained & entranced all the way through.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Julie Simon
  • 2021-03-26

A good way to pass time

I liked listening, even though it's bot what I expected. I had hoped for the original novel interpreted, but it's more of an adaptation and, more often than not, I cringed at the adaptation of the text which doesn't in the least do justice to the original novel. Jane Austen's style was much better than that. For those who like Jane Austen's writing, you might bot like it and pass your turn.
And for those who can overlook this detail, enjoy to your heart's content.

2 people found this helpful