If you were alive in 1983, you probably recognize that other than being filmed on video, it seems that there is no trace of 1983 in this Austen Adaptation, something that can’t be said of many other adaptations of similar vintage. Reviews of Mansfield Park (1983) take note of both it’s historical accuracy and faithfulness to the source material. Having watched it repeatedly over the past few months, I have grown to love this particular adaptation, which, in my opinion, does a good job of revealing the virtues of Fanny Price’s kind and gentle soul. There is precious little oneline content containing trivia tidbits from this production, so a few of the items in this post run slightly afield of the world of Austen. Those who watch other period films, however, will still find the questions relateable.
- The actor who played Edmund Bertram, Nicholas Farrell, was seen in another Austen Adaptation in 2007. Which one was it, and what role did he play?
- Julia Bertram wears a white muslin gown with blue polka dots in an outdoor walking scene. The same gown was worn by a female lead in one of the 2007 Austen Adaptations. Name either the actress, novel, or character name.
- Bernard Hepton, who plays Sir Thomas Bertram, played the father to an Austen heroine in the 1996 adaptation of which one of Austen’s novels? Bonus points if you can name the heroine and actress who played her.
- One member of the Mansfield Park 1983 cast returned to play a different role in the 1999 adaptation of the same title. Who was it, and what role did they play in Mansfield Park 1999?
- The actress who played Fanny Price, Sylvestra Le Touzel, was seen in another Austen Adaptation in 2007. Which one was it, and what role did she play?
- Mary Crawford wears a gold gown to Fanny Price’s ball. The same gown is worn by Caroline Bingley in which Pride and Prejudice based series?
- The stately home”Brympton d’Evercy” in Somerset, served as the filming location for which home in Mansfield Park?
- The stately home “Somerley House” on the Hampshire/Dorset border, served as the filming location for which home in Mansfield Park?
- Anna Massey, the actress who portrayed the extremely competent but cruel Mrs. Norris, was in a comedic historical film in 2002 that starred Colin Firth in which she played an extremely incompetent but kind character. Name the film.
- Christopher Villiers, who played Tom Bertram in Mansfield Park 1983 was seen in another historical drama a year earlier in 1982 in which he was the sidekick to an aristocratic English spy during the French Revolution. What was the film? Bonus points if you know the name of the character he played.
How do you think you did? Read on to either confirm your answers or discover them.
10.) From nephew to son. I covered this one a few months back on the Mansfield Park (1999) Trivia post, so consider this a warm-up question if it seems familiar. Fanny Price’s rambunctious brother, Charles Price, was played by a young Jonny Lee Miller. Sixteen years later, the actor would be promoted from Sir Thomas Bertram’s nephew to his son, Edmund Bertram.
9.) Who wore it better? Julia or Catherine? This white muslin day dress with light blue polka dots worn in Mansfield Park by Samantha Bond as Maria Bertram was seen again on Felicity Jones in Northanger Abbey (2007). The gathering on the sleeve was removed in the later appearance of this frock.
8.) From horrible to adorable. Anna Massey, the actress who portrayed the nasty Mrs. Norris in Mansfield Park demonstrated the true range of her acting abilities when she was cast as the scatterbrained, but kind to a fault Miss Prism in the 2002 Oscar Wilde film The Importance of Being Earnest. This is the first of several casting role-reversals for the Mansfield Park cast. This historical comedy is a fan-favorite for many Janeites since Colin Firth was cast in the title role of the production.
7.) From second-son to the master of the house. The second role-reversal casting instance is Nicolas Farrell, who was relegated to earning a living as a clergyman as Edmund Bertram in Mansfield Park. We see him again 24 years later as the genial landowner, Mr. Musgrove, in Persuasion 2007.
6.) From beneficiary to benefactress. In a third role-reversal casting, Sylvestra Le Touzel, who played the object of Sir Thomas Bertram’s charity in Mansfield Park, Fanny Price, returns in Northanger Abbey (2007) as the generous and wealthy Mrs. Allen who enthusiastically takes Catherine Morland under her wing to experience the delights of Bath in style.
5.) Maria’s marriage to Mr. Rushworth was a bust but weddings carry on at Brympton d’Evercy. Brympton House in Somerset was the filming location for Sotherton Court, the home of the wealthy but stupid Mr. Rushworth. The simple name of Brympton House belies the history of the property, which began in the days of William the Conquerer in 1066 and features a castle that is over 750 years old.
4.) If Brympton House is booked, you can try Somerley House. Somerley House was the filming site for scenes at Mansfield Park. It is currently inhabited by the Viscount and Viscountess Somerley and their young family. The home is available as a wedding venue and other events, which provides income to maintain the enormous estate.
3.) From Sir to Mr. Another role reversal casting case is that of Bernard Hepton, who plays the baronet, Sir Thomas Bertram, in Mansfield Park. It’s only a slight step down, from an aristocrat to a wealthy gentleman who is still a landowner with a large estate. Bernard was cast 13 years later as the peevish Mr. Woodhouse, in Emma, 1996. If I had not found the connection, I would not have recognized him.
2.) Who wore it better? Beware of ladies in gold. Although the lighting and production quality in the two works is different enough to somewhat disguise the sameness of the gown, the characters of the ladies costumed in it definitely have their similarities. The gold gown that Mary Crawford (Jackie Smith-Wood) wears to the ball given by Sir Thomas in Fanny Price’s honor was worn again by Caroline Bingley (Christina Cole) in Lost in Austen, the time-travel Pride and Prejudice tale.
1.) From sidekick to heir. Are you ready for the fifth role-reversal casting? In 1982, Christopher Villiers played the role of Lord Anthony Dewhurst, the right-hand man to baronet Sir Percy Blakeney in The Scarlet Pimpernel. A year later, he plays Tom Bertram, heir to a baronetcy in Mansfield Park. Lord Anthony was the son of a duke, but not the heir.
I hope you enjoyed reading today’s post. How did you do on the quiz? Were you surprised by anything? We would love to hear your thoughts. If you know of any interesting bits that I missed, please do share them in the comments. Have a wonderful week!
Quiz Answers: 1.) Persuasion, Mr. Musgrove. 2.) Felicity Jones as Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey. 3.) Emma, Emma, Kate Beckinsale. 4.) Jonny Lee Miller, Edmund Bertram. 5.) Northanger Abbey, Mrs. Allen. 6.) Lost in Austen. 7.) Sotherton Court 8.) Mansfield Park 9.) The Importance of Being Earnest. 10.) The Scarlet Pimpernel, Lord Anthony Dewhurst.