Death Comes to Pemberley first crossed my path a few years back, when the BBC announced it was going to film it for the Christmas/New Year drama slot. Finding a copy in a charity shop shortly afterwards made it seem well-timed, so I bought it and got stuck in before I watched it.
I like both PD James and Jane Austen, and it seemed a better idea for a sequel than any of the diaries which are the more usual updated fare for Austen’s characters.
I thought it captured Austen’s own style quite wonderfully, incorporating her own phraseology, and lines from the original. When I watched the BBC’s adaptation, I was pleased that they were kept, even if I was a little confused by the stealing of a line from Oscar Wilde, however much the similarities abound between Ladies Catherine de Bourgh and Bracknell. But there was a nice reference to Emma, and the village of Highbury.
The casting of the BBC production was, I thought, superb. I don’t think one jumps out as having being badly cast. Which is quite impressive, given that usually at least one character isn’t quite right. All in all, it was a wonderful mini-series, in the style of the 1995 version of Pride & Prejudice. What could be better?
Both the book and the mini-series are well worth it, for something fun and reasonably light-hearted.