5 classic books which should be adapted for the screen

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?


19 thoughts on “5 classic books which should be adapted for the screen”

  1. Nice list. I cannot believe I still haven’t read Villette, I hear all round that it’s very good and the fact that you find it superior to Jane Eyre makes me want to start reading it right now. The one classic I want to be adapted to the screen is The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo, because we have only old movie adaptations dating to the 1930s or 1950s and it needs a new modern version. And not some mini-series but one very big budget film with all the special effects to make a believable Quasimodo (maybe), and it should stick to the original tragic ending.

    1. Thanks! Villette is one of my favourites. There is a certain amount of French in it but luckily my edition has the notes in the back 🙂 The only adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame I have seen is the Disney version which of course doesn’t have the tragic ending. In fact, when I got around to reading the original I was devastated because I didn’t know how cruel a story it would turn out to be!

  2. I feel so sad that I haven’t read even a single one of these books!!! I GOTTA AMP UP MY CLASSICS GAMEE!!! ABHJEHBFUIHEROL xD

    AWESOMEEE CHOICES, N! And hey, who knows, maybe they WILL be adapted in the future – here’s hoping! <3 <3 😉

    1. Well these are maybe less well-known classics, Rain, so I wouldn’t expect a lot of people to have read them. Thanks for stopping by, as always 😀

  3. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m not really a fan of classics and have never read any of the books you’ve listed 🙁

    1. They are not to everyone’s taste, don’t be embarrassed Jee 🙂 The ones I have listed are not the most famous and are probably underrated so I’d be interested to see adaptations of them 🙂

    1. Little Women is one of my favourite books and I’m fond of the 90s film so I’m not keen on other adaptations of it, however good they may be.

  4. I’m another one who hasn’t read any of these particular classics. However, I did want to say that I was inspired by another classics post you’d written earlier (can’t remember when?) and now I’m halfway through Charles’ Dickens’s The Old Curiosity Shop. It appears that has been made into a movie twice?

    1. It’s great that you were inspired, have to admit however I have not read The Old Curiosity Shop, although am kind of familiar with the story despite this. I haven’t seen any films of it.

  5. This was a great post and I’m glad you talked about these books because it’s the first time I’ve ever heard of them! I usually like reading classics but haven’t read that many yet, so I’ll have to discover these ones!

      1. Thank you so much, which ones would you recommend me starting with? One of my favourite books is Les Misérables!

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