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About the Author

Jane Austen is trending—permanently—and continues to attract top actors to Audible Studios, all eager to perform Austen’s witty and engaging dialogue. In an era when women didn’t put their own names on their work, Jane Austen quietly wrote six perfect novels that are present-day hot commodities; her celebrity, amazingly, is still growing. Austen’s work, which is sharply satiric, yet full of pathos, continues to delight contemporary listeners.

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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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.

69 people found this helpful

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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!

59 people found this helpful

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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.

37 people found this helpful

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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!

23 people found this helpful

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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.

17 people found this helpful

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Cliffnotes

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

10 people found this helpful

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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!

9 people found this helpful

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Well worth your time

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

9 people found this helpful

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loved Persuasion!

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

7 people found this helpful

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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.

6 people found this helpful

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  • MelF
  • 11-05-20

Not split into individual titles - UPDATED

UPDATE: Since posting this review Audible have edited this work to enable listeners to go straight to the adaptation they wish to listen to, and subdivided each into episodes. Many thanks Audible.
Some charming & compelling performances particularly amongst those not regarded as Austen's most sparkling heros/heroines.

Ch 1 - Sense & Sensibility
Ch 16 - Pride & Prejudice
Ch 32 - Mansfield Park
Ch 48 - Emma
Ch 64 - Northanger Abbey
Ch 76 - Persuasion

As with so many Audible collections and anthologies, just a string of chapters with no ready ability to select the desired title. Frustrating.

329 people found this helpful

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  • B. Taylor
  • 11-19-20

Why would you change the words of such classics?

I loved the idea of Austen narrated with dialogue added in by a range of actors. But why would you change the words of classic literature?

And then, having changed the words, why would you go ahead and label the audiobook "unabridged"? Very disappointing. People should know what they are buying - and this is definitely not "unabridged".

141 people found this helpful

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  • Colin
  • 11-10-20

annoying background music

The storytelling is ruined by really irritating background music. I hoped to listen to a story not naff music.

129 people found this helpful

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  • M C
  • 11-14-20

NOT the Jane Austen we all know and love

What a disappointment! I was looking forward to a narration and "drama" of the spoken parts. Why oh why did the producers feel that Jane Austen's text needed adding to. It does nothing to add to the story and jars with the original text. In addition, as other reviewers have said the music is a distraction and does nothing to aid the enjoyment of the book. I struggled through Sense and Sensibility but by the time I got to Pride and Prejudice I could take no more. If you love Jane Austen, avoid this book!! I will be returning this book forthwith!

88 people found this helpful

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  • **Rainbow**
  • 11-12-20

Awful music

I’m nearly at the end of the first book and it is being ruined for me by the music - at first I thought I’d left the radio on in another room. I really don’t want to hear music behind the narration. Such a pity because I love the stories, but I don’t think I can listen to the others and I’ll be returning this one.

72 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-14-20

What a disappointment

I was so looking forward to this collection, but have been so put off by the distracting music which has no relevance to the stories being performed.
I am now returning this title, not having made it even half way through the first book. An opportunity ruined Audible.

40 people found this helpful

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  • Gill
  • 11-08-20

Beautiful sound

This audiobook is a masterpiece. I have to admit I'm not quite into classic literature because it feels outdated, the language is odd and I can't relate to it as much as I can relate to contemporary literature but this dramatisation is exception because it makes these stories a lot more digestible. It took two hours into the drama to start enjoying it fully and probably I won't listen to all books in one week but rather finish the first book and move on some other genre but surely I will return to it again and it might be worth listening to the first book once again because I had bit trouble in the beggining to follow all these aquitances of miss Ellena and Ann Marie and which man is interested in which sister as their names are hard to remember etc. But because it's sounding so nice and I'm truly in love of the music, it's worth buying just to listen to these melodies they because are so catching.

33 people found this helpful

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  • boudica
  • 11-10-20

Superb

I have been a member of Audible for many years and this is the first time that I have given a review. I will admit that I have only just finished listening to Sense and Sensibility so my review can be said to be based on that alone. What I will say is that the production is superb, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as the narrator is excellent and the cast fit their characters perfectly. I normally listen for a couple of hours at a time but with this one I forgot about time and just immersed myself in the audiobook and was so impressed I bought a copy of it for my wife so she could listen to it as well.

I have yet to listen to the others but look forward in eager anticipation to them. I noted in another review about the chapters and whilst I do agree that Amazon could and should do better in that regard it should take nothing away from the production and the individual performances and I have reviewed it on that alone and not on the chapter naming.

26 people found this helpful

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  • CBA
  • 11-18-20

No

No. Honestly, if you like Jane Austen & want the actual books don't get this mishmash.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Aileen
  • 11-15-20

Amazing

This is an amazing reading of the JA books. I loved the background music and my only very slight criticism is that some text was slightly changed or missed out but overall I loved the narration. Close your eyes and listen, its like being there with the characters. There are background sounds too like walking, knives and forks on plates, crowds etc. Its wonderful. Thank you audible.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Ailsa
  • 01-25-21

This Wrongly claims to be the unabridged version

This claims to be the unabridged version but it is not.I do not want this version I am looking for an unabridged version. Please refund as soon as possible and try to make your advertising and descriptions clearer. Thank you. Furthermore, when I tried to reach someone to ask for a refund it turns out this is not possible.

75 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-13-21

listed as unabridged, but it is very much abridged

great voice cast, but I found the abridged script frustrating, especially as it was listed in the store as unabridged.

64 people found this helpful

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  • Catherine
  • 01-10-21

it doesn't download in order

The parts download out of order which makes listening a pain. The only way to see what part is what is by opening every one. VERY inconvenient.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Ortrud
  • 02-15-21

Only disappointed it doesn't include Lady Susan

This is a really enjoyable production of Austen's full length novels. Semi- dramatised, with separate actors reading the characters, and a narrator. Good casting, great characterisation, and only such editing as necessary to make sense of the format.

Some novels included "outro" music at the end of each chapter, which I didn't like. it didn't add anything and in "Persuasion", it was obtrusive and annoying. But that (and the absence of "Lady Susan") are the only things I'd change. Well worth the monthly point!

8 people found this helpful

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  • Janine
  • 02-02-21

Superb

I needed no encouragement to immerse myself in this dramatised collection of Jane Austen novels. It is all perfection and I was exceedingly diverted.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-15-21

Great version of the classic!

Really enjoyed the different style of narration on these. Highly recommend you have a listen

5 people found this helpful

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  • Nic Welby
  • 03-22-21

Loved it!

Loved listening to the Jane Austen series. I'd never read the books before and loved the authentic accents that made it believable.

I read The Jane Austen Book Club alongside listening to this series and that was great too!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-29-21

Fantasic quality and value

A fantastic collection of some of Jane Austin's best works. High quality productions with various actors playing the roles of the characters and helping them to come alive. Loved that it was a package deal and loved every minute of listening.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jane Holder
  • 03-18-21

Thoroughly enjoyable

I particularly liked Emma Thompson's narration. The characterizations were well presented in all of the stories.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-31-21

Not unabridged

Very well performed! But not unabridged, like the description says - some of the novels have entire characters missing from them! Very disappointed.

2 people found this helpful