This film depicts the young Jane Austen (Anne Hathaway) as she discovers her literary skills and her own affairs of the heart. It is loosely based on a speculative romance between her and a young Irish lawyer, Tom Lefroy (James McAvoy). The original screenplay was inspired by real events, which were chronicled in the book Becomin Jane Austin by Jon Spence. Also stars Maggie Smith.
The year is 1795 and young Jane Austen is a feisty 20-year-old and emerging writer who already sees a world beyond class and commerce, beyond pride and prejudice, and dreams of doing what was then nearly unthinkable – marrying for love.
Naturally her parents are searching for a wealthy, well-appointed husband to assure their daughter's future social standing. They are eyeing Mr Wisley, nephew to the very formidable, not to mention very rich, local aristocrat Lady Gresham, as a prospective match.
But when Jane meets the roguish and decidedly non-aristocratic Tom Lefroy, sparks soon fly, along with the sharp repartee. His intellect and arrogance raise her ire – then knock her head over heels. Now the couple, whose flirtation flies in the face of the sense and sensibility of the age, is faced with a terrible dilemma. If they attempt to marry, they will risk everything that matters – family, friends and fortune.
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