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Jane Austen at 19: the real love story

London, April 6: 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: “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.

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, and James McAvoy, star of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, as her young Irish beau.

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

Bernstein said 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.

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copyright of Telegraph Group Limited and must not be

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jc, raja

Jaideep Chatterjee

Assistant News Editor

The Telegraph

6,9 Prafulla Sarkar Street, Calcutta, India

00-91-33-2600216, 00-91-33-2600229


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