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2. The Period Drama: Great Expectations

Whilst still classics in their own right, we have to consider this genre on its own, as the Victorian literature era has been the influence of some of films most beautiful period drama adaptations to date. From the Brontë sisters’ Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma, the 19th century saw such female authors dominating the writing scene with their enduring classic romances. The most famous of these Victorian novelists, however, was the great Charles Dickens, and we’ve chosen to include his thirteenth novel, Great Expectations.

Having been adapted over 250 times for various mediums, most recently by Mike Newell in 2012, it is David Lean’s film adaptation that remains the most loved. Winning two Oscars on its release in 1946, the adaptation saw John Mills play the part of Pip, Martita Hunt as Miss Havisham, and Valerie Hobson as Estella. The story centres on Pip, a humble orphan who suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor.

Such literary adaptations have their own advantages as these period dramas, whether decent adaptations or not, are always stunning in their costume design, style, and location settings.

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