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Becoming Jane...

A thread for articles and comments on the movie 'Becoming Jane' about the love affair between Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy.

I found this article by Arifa Akbar in The Independant of today: How Jane Austen's doomed love affair with Irish barrister inspired her greatest novels


Re: Becoming Jane...

If you like to read a critical comment on this article, go to Summer lovin' had me a blast at

The story has been totally made up, but those things happen when artists are romanticized and didn't leave 3 million word diaries like Samuel Pepys (even then...). That doesn't mean though a movie or a historical novel cannot be enjoyable.

Take Girl With a Pearl Earring for instance, the book by Tracy Chevalier and its movie adaptation with Colin -- Mr. Darcy incarnate -- Firth.
It's totally made up. We know next to nothing about Vermeer except for his work. The girl in the painting is considered by art historians as a 'tronie' (sorry, don't know the English term, but it's a portrait originated from the imagination of the painter as a sort of ideal) so there's no real person behind it.

But as long as one is are aware of that, one can enjoy it, if book or movie deserves it as a product in itself.


Re: Becoming Jane...

Jane Austen at 19: the real life love story
By Hugh Davies


Screen adaptations of Jane Austen's novels have become as common as Star Wars sequels but now the author's own life is to be the subject of a film.

An £8 million movie detailing the thwarted summer love of Austen at 19 for a young and roguish Irishman, Tom Lefroy, a real life suitor, has begun shooting in Dublin.

Robert Bernstein, one of the producers, said yesterday: "It is young love. It is Jane Austen in love, something you've never seen before, a complete departure from the usual oblique portrait of her as a spinster."

Ecosse Films, the lead producer, made Mrs Brown, the Bafta- and Golden Globe-winning picture about Queen Victoria's relationship with her servant, John Brown.

Mr Bernstein said: "We were looking for a companion piece to Mrs Brown, a pivotal relationship in a British icon's life that is surprising and revealing. She is a person with a beating heart, and the experience transforms her life."

Becoming Jane stars Anne Hathaway, seen recently in Brokeback Mountain, as the author, James McAvoy, star of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, as her young Irish beau, and Julie Walters as Jane's mother.

Julian Jarrold, the director, who made Kinky Boots, said: "Anne has the perfect combination of intelligence, emotional vulnerablity and steely determination for our Jane."

The all-British production, with BluePrint Pictures, is causing a stir as a distant surviving relative of Austen's beau, Helen Lefroy, 85, asserts that Tom, who was about to start practising law at Lincoln's Inn, would have found Austen too independent in spirit. She believes that Austen merely mined Tom for information for her writing.

Mr Bernstein said that his tale was far from fanciful. "It is pretty well established that she had this whirlwind romance that started her writing First Impressions, which was the embryo for Pride and Prejudice.

"We developed the script three years ago. It is taken from research, culled from a lot of biographies. Jon Spence, who wrote the book Becoming Jane, is our historical consultant. We portray a deep and emotional relationship that was not to be.

"It's the true story of how she fell in love at 19, had a relationship that was a key to her understanding of how love works, and how she became the writer we know and love today."

The producers follow a long tradition of using Austen for inspiration. Six films have been made of Pride and Prejudice and Emma has been adapted five times. Persuasion, Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey have also all been filmed.

Source: News.telegraph

Re: Irish castle hosts period ball for Austen biopic

source: Irish

Irish castle hosts period ball for Austen biopic

A lavish ball from the late 18th century was recreated in an Irish castle tonight for a multi-million euro movie telling the tale of author Jane Austen’s own life.

The ornate surroundings of Charleville Forest Castle in the Irish midlands were taken over as a scene from the movie detailing the real-life love of a 19-year-old Austen for a roguish Irishman, Tom Lefroy, was shot.

Arts Minister John O’Donoghue took a step back in time as he visited the Co Offaly set of Becoming Jane, starring Anne Hathaway and James McEvoy, where 100 extras in period costume dress gathered to film the ballroom scene.

Mr O’Donoghue said: “The Irish economy continues to directly benefit from having major feature films such as Becoming Jane shot on location here.

“As well as the direct benefits to the local economy such as job creation and tourism, it is also important to have images of Ireland screened to international audiences around the world.

"Encouraging feature films to shoot in Ireland remains a major priority for the Irish Government and we hope that the recent changes to Section 481 will mean that Ireland remains a competitive international location for feature film.”

The multi-million euro production has been estimated to generate direct expenditure of €7.1m in Irish jobs, goods and services. Around 106 Irish cast and crew have been employed on the film.

After many adaptations of Austen’s famous novels – including Pride and Prejudice and Emma – for the screen, this production will delve into her own real life.

Written by Kevin Hood and Sarah Williams, the film was inspired by the true events of the little known romance of the young Austen and Irishman Lefroy.

The film will give fans a view of the young author in her early formative years.

Robert Bernstein, one of the producers, has previously revealed the script was developed from research including biographies on the author’s life.

Becoming Jane, which is being directed by Julian Jarrold, who made Kinky Boots, is shooting in the Dublin, Offaly and Wicklow region of Ireland.

The film stars Hathaway, from Brokeback Mountain, as the author, and McAvoy, who appeared in the Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as the young Irish suitor.

Other cast members include Maggie Smith, who has been seen in the Harry Potter films, and Julie Walters from Billy Elliott.

The adaptation is being produced by Ecosse Films, makers of the multi-award winning Mrs Brown, in association with Blueprint Pictures and Octagon Films.

“We are delighted to be back in Ireland which we have found to be an excellent film-friendly location. We are looking forward to bringing a slate of new projects here over the next year,” said Douglas Rae, one of the producers with Ecosse Films.

James Flynn, a producer with Octagon Films, said the film had benefited from supplementary funding allocated by the Irish Film Board and Arts Department which had contributed to its decision to re-locate the feature film to Ireland.

Several films are currently shooting in Ireland including John Boorman’s new movie, A Tiger’s Tale, starring Brendan Gleeson, which has shot scenes in Dublin’s Temple Bar.

Simon Perry, chief executive of the Irish Film Board, said: “Becoming Jane is one of six feature films currently shooting in Ireland. This is good news for the Irish film industry but in an increasingly competitive and challenging international environment for film production, we cannot get complacent and must continue to monitor our level of competitiveness.”

Re: Becoming Jane...

Here's a site with a few photos to look at:

Re: Becoming Jane...

Thank you, Rita!

The costumes all look very 18th century, don't they? No empire gowns as yet.

I hope the movie will be released here.


Re: Becoming Jane...

Here's another for you....I do look forward to it!

Re: Becoming Jane...

Hey, thanks again, lovely Rita!

Anne -- Jane Austen -- Hathaway'gown is definitely empire.

Re: Becoming Jane...

I am sorry to comment on this so belatedly, but in fact I have just seen the film, while sitting up comfortably in bed. I could not see the end(it is not a happy ending). I stopped when Mr WHAT'S HIS NAME(a mixture of Mr Darcy and Mr Wickham) hands her his letter and proposes her to elope with him. As I imagine she will not elope, since I know her biography(at least what I have read about her in the brief ones that is printed in her books)and she never got married, neither did she elope. But I enjoyed the rest. Even suffered with them considerably. And laughed too.