11 Period Dramas to Watch This Spring to Revive Your Inner Romantic

There is a certain feeling that comes with Spring, one that emphasizes every joy and makes everything seem filled with hope and sunshine.

And what better way to celebrate that feeling than to pair it with a good, energy boosting love story as those portrayed in classic books and period drama movies?

We’ve combined these two sources of memorable romance stories into a list of 11 Period Dramas to Watch This Spring to Revive Your Inner Romantic.

As expected, Jane Austen adaptations appear more than once. 🙂

  • Movies are listed in no particular order.

1. A Room With A View


© Goldcrest Films International

Based on E. M. Forster’s novel, “A Room With A View” (1985) tells the story of Lucy Honeychurch, a young woman who has to choose between the traditional British ways of marriage and the free-spirited promises of love which she encounters unexpectedly during a visit in Italy. From a room with no perspective to one with a view offered by two fellow guests of a Florentine pensione, from polite love to blooming passion, from England to Italy and back, the movie will make you ask questions and find answers about what is actually of real importance in romantic relationships and choices.

Cast (selective):  Helena Bonham CarterMaggie SmithDenholm ElliottJulian Sands.

Selected Line: “A young girl, transfigured by Italy! And why shouldn’t she be transfigured? It happened to the Goths!” – Eleanor Lavish.

Trivia: First cinema film of Helena Bonham Carter.

IMDB Score: 7.4.

Want to read the book? Download a Free Copy Here.

2. Sense and Sensibility


© Columbia Tristar

The best movie adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility”, by far. Sisters Elinor and Marianne Dashwood find themselves in a context that lacks “marriage-appeal” in the Victorian era, meaning their family is left with no money after Mr. Dashwood’s death. Once they move from their family home to a modest cottage offered to them by a cousin, reason-driven Elinor and heart-guided Marianne must face the joys and tribulations of romantic connections that differ greatly in motivation, availability, and commitment.

Cast (selective): Emma ThompsonKate WinsletHugh GrantAlan RickmanGreg Wise.

Selected Line: “My heart is, and always will be, yours.” – Edward Ferrars.

Trivia: Screenplay by Emma Thompson.

IMDB Score: 7.7.

Want to read the book? Download a Free Copy Here.

3. Easy Virtue


© Ealing Studios, Fragile Films et al.

A young Englishman with a traditional upbringing marries an American woman who races cars. His parents aren’t happy, especially his mother. When he brings his young bride home to meet them, the entire dynamic of the English household gets a boost.

Cast (selective): Jessica BielBen Barnes, Kristin Scott Thomas, Colin Firth.

Selected Line:
Larita Whittaker: The pleasure is all mine.
Mrs. Whittaker: Oh, you’re American.

Trivia: Ben Barnes and Colin Firth also starred together in “Dorian Gray” (2009).

IMDB Score: 6.7.

4. Little Women


© Columbia Pictures

Four sisters grow up, find love and understand life in post-Civil War America, in this wonderful adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women”. It’s a movie about finding your own path, working your way out through difficult times, and keeping close those who understand and empower you. It’s about making the best out of life with whatever comes your way.

Cast (selective): Winona RyderKirsten Dunst, Claire DanesChristian BaleSusan SarandonSamantha Mathis.

Selected Line:

Friedrich: But I have nothing to give you. My hands are empty.
[entwines her hands with his]
Jo: Not empty now.

Trivia: Claire Danes’ feature film debut.

IMDB Score: 7.3.

Want to read the book? Download a Free Copy Here.

5. Mrs. Brown



Two strong-willed people come together and transform the United Kingdom of Great Britain’s destiny. One of them is Queen Victoria and the other one is the loyal Scottish friend who helped her recover after the death of her husband, Prince Albert, and who also advised her on important matters regarding the official affairs, Mr. Brown. Their love remains a question, but their friendship is the reality that shaped a kingdom.

Cast (selective): Judi DenchBilly Connolly, Antony Sher, Gerard Butler.

Selected Line:
Queen Victoria: Then why send me back to them?
John Brown: Because I have to! Will you no listen to me, woman?
Queen Victoria: Do not presume to talk to your Queen in that manner.

Trivia: Gerard Butler’s first film.

IMDB Score: 7.3.

6. Pride and Prejudice


© Focus Features

Another Jane Austen adaptation on our list, “Pride and Prejudice” (2005) follows Elizabeth Bennet, a young and witty woman, who is not eager to marry just to please the social norms and the development of her relationship with the rich and proud Mr. Darcy, who is convinced that social status is what should dictate a marriage. Will pride and prejudice win over their emotional connection?

Cast (selective): Keira KnightleyMatthew Macfadyen, Donald SutherlandCarey MulliganRosamund PikeJena MaloneSimon Woods.

Selected Line:

Mr. Darcy: I love you. Most ardently. Please do me the honor of accepting my hand.
Elizabeth Bennet: Sir, I appreciate the struggle you have been through, and I am very sorry to have caused you pain. Believe me, it was unconsciously done.
Mr. Darcy: Is this your reply?
Elizabeth Bennet: Yes, sir.

Trivia: Director Joe Wright imposed a “pout ban” on actress Keira Knightley while filming this movie. She broke the ban once, while the director was not present.

IMDB Score: 7.8.

Want to read the book? Download a Free Copy Here.

7. Coco avant Chanel


© Haut et Court et al.

“Coco avant Chanel” (“Coco Before Chanel”) is a French movie that portrays the life of Coco Chanel as she struggles to find her way to independence and love while she is romantically involved with Étienne Balsan, a rich man who gave her her iconic name, and Boy Chapel, her true love and the man who offered her the support she needed to start what later become a fashion empire.

Cast (selective): Audrey Tautou, Benoît PoelvoordeAlessandro NivolaMarie GillainEmmanuelle Devos.

Selected Line: “A woman who cuts her hair, is about to change her life.” – Étienne Balsan.

Trivia: Ritz Hotel in Paris, where Coco Chanel lived during 1934 and 1971 named one of their suites after her.

IMDB Score: 6.7.

8. Emma



The last Jane Austen adaptation included on our list follows Emma Woodhouse, a young Englishwoman who thinks she understands enough about love so much as to try to play matchmaker with her less fortunate friend, Harriett, but she is soon to realize that there is more to love than playful courtship-sign readings and social status considerations. It is this infantile approach to romantic connections that almost cost her her own happiness. Lucky that her dear friend Mr. Knightley is always near and ready to challenge her views on life and love.

Cast (selective): Kate BeckinsaleBernard HeptonMark StrongDominic RowanSamantha MortonRaymond CoulthardOlivia Williams.

Selected Line: “Badly done, Emma. Badly done.” – Mr. Knightley.

Trivia: The ivory silk evening gown that Emma is wearing to the Crown Ball also made appearances on characters in “Vanity Fair” (a guest at the Duchess of Richmond’s Ball) and “Byron” (Annabella Milbanke).

IMDB Score: 7.2.

Want to read the book? Download a Free Copy Here.

9. George et Fanchette


© France 3 (FR 3)

“George et Fanchette” (“George and Fanchette”) tells a fictional story based on the true attributes of writer George Sand, who was involved in a romantic relationship with composer Frédéric Chopin. But it is not their love story that is the main focus of the movie, but Sand’s maternal support offered to a young modest woman whom she takes into her home, teaches her to read and write and treats her like her own daughter (the relationship with her real daughter, Solange, was a rather tensed one). Both women deal with various types of romance and love and constantly need to adapt to new social and personal contexts.

Cast (selective): Ariane AscarideAnaïs Demoustier.

Trivia: The relationship between the real George Sand and Fanchette is fictional.

IMDB Score: 6.5.

10. I Capture the Castle


© British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

A decaying English castle is brought to life by the happenings in the lives of young Cassandra Mortmain, her sister, Rose, and their eccentric family. Love is once more tested by social status and morality.

Cast (selective): Romola GaraiRose ByrneBill NighyHenry CavillHenry ThomasMarc Blucas.

Selected Line: “No towel in the world is worth marrying a bearded man you hate.” – Cassandra.

Trivia: The piano playing did by Rose in the movie was done entirely by Rose Byrne.

IMDB Score: 7.1.

11. Testament of Youth


© Sony Pictures Classics

This coming of age story set during World War I, sees young Englishwoman Vera Brittain through her first love, the challenges and radical changes brought by war and her search for a place, sense, and continuity in those different contexts. And it all gets captured in her writings.

Cast (selective): Alicia VikanderTaron EgertonColin MorganKit HaringtonMiranda RichardsonEmily Watson.

Selected Line: “Please don’t keep things back from me, Roland, with an idea of sparing my feelings. I shall never be afraid to confront the real. The imagined holds far greater terror for me.” – Vera Britain.

Trivia: The role of Vera Brittain was originally cast to Saoirse Ronan.

IMDB Score: 7.3.

Have you watched any of these movies or do you have other recommendations for the romantic Springtime? Let me know in a comment below.

* Trivia and lines were retrieved from IMDB.com. Featured Image – Columbia Tristar.

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