Love and Friendship: Jane Austen With a Difference

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In July the long awaited adaptation of Jane Austen’s uncompleted novel Love and Friendship, also know as Lady Susan, hits the screens. First off, we have to say that this adaptation of Austen’s novel definitely does not lack what you would expect from the prolific novelist, however the plot of this particular Jane Austen definitely stands out from the rest of her work.

As much as we adore Jane Austen and the wonders of her works, sometimes her plots can be a little samey, which will usually consists of a middle class girl forced to look for love as soon as she hits 16 (due the prospect of destitution), being a burden on her family and what is worse an ‘old maid’. We all love these stories, however we cannot deny we found viewing Love and Friendship very refreshing compared to what other adaptations of Austen have given us.

So what makes Love and Friendship so different? Well first let us tell you a bit about the plot. SPOILER ALERT. Love and Friendship centres around the widow Lady Susan and her daughter Frederica. Lady Susan has already made herself a reputation of being the worst thing imaginable in Regency society, a flirt, however the relations are not prepared for the charm that anti-heroine posses. So, when Lady Susan forces herself into their homes, she easily manages to win the men’s affections, whilst making her female companions suspicious. One female in her society, Catherine Vernon, and her mother are determined to interrupt Lady Susan’s plans of marrying Catherine’s brother, and save Frederica from the fate of marrying the rather silly Sir James Martin.


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We shan’t tell you the ending, however we will say that one aspect of the Jane Austen novel is still relevant; good characters come to a good end and bad characters come to a bad end. All in all this Jane Austen story is her funniest yet, with witticisms from Lady Susan and other characters prevalent in the novel, make it, in our opinion, one of the best of this prolific lady’s novels.

As to how Love and Friendship has been adapted, Love and Friendship the film has fully utilised Jane Austen’s humour from the novel; the film is just as funny as the book, and it has a brilliant cast with Kate Beckinsale playing her best role yet, along with other great performances from actors such as Stephen Fry.

It really is a fantastic adaptation. Our only criticism is that it is a little slow and then ends rather abruptly, but this could be down to the fact that it was an unfinished novel. If you haven’t been to see Love and Friendship yet, we highly recommend that you gather your fellow Jane Austen fans and go to see the wit that is Love and Friendship.


Words: Elena Hatfield.



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