I’m tired of yet more film and TV adaptations of the usual suspects, such as Little Women, Emma, A Christmas Carol, Dracula, Anna Karenina… Here are some classics which would, I think, make good viewing if well-made and kept to the original settings and eras.
Evelina by Frances Burney. As far as I can discover, this excellent novel has not been filmed. Burney’s writing influenced Jane Austen and it seems a pity that no one has adapted the adventures of Evelina yet. She ought to steal some of Austen’s limelight.
Tono-Bungay by H G Wells. Everyone knows The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine. However, Tono-Bungay deserves to be better known. It’s a fascinating study of quack medicine, social class and the entrepreneur spirit. It would make a great TV series.
Villette by Charlotte Brontë. There has only been one screen adaptation of this book, a TV series in 1970. Villette is one of my favourite classics and I find it superior even to the famous Jane Eyre. Lucy Snowe is one of my favourite characters.
The Last Man by Mary Shelley. I have discovered that a film of this was released in 2008, set in the present day. Sadly, going by the reviews on IMDb, it’s absolutely dreadful. The book would certainly be very challenging to adapt but maybe there will be a decent version made in the future.
Between the Acts by Virginia Woolf. No one, as far as I can tell, has adapted Woolf’s last (and possibly strangest) novel. It would be a good challenge for a particularly arty film-maker with an interest in sounds and symbols. There would be tension despite the idyllic village setting, due to the looming Second World War.
Which classics would you like to see adapted for the screen?