19 British Period Dramas That Prove Love Was Better Back Then

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In this list, we put together British period movies that we believe are the most movie-lover like. These movies, which were adapted to screenplays from books, mostly criticize a period when the role of the woman was to be loyal. Here are some outstanding period movies that we hope you'll enjoy.

The movies were listed according to their IMDb ratings. Enjoy the list

The storylines were taken from IMDb.

19. Emma (1996) | IMDb 6.8

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Emma
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116191

Emma Woodhouse is a congenial young lady who delights in meddling in other people's affairs. She is perpetually trying to unite men and women who are utterly wrong for each other. Despite her interest in romance, Emma is clueless about her own feelings, and her relationship with gentle Mr. Knightly.

18. The Duchess (2008) | IMDb 6.9

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The Duchess
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0864761

Georgiana Spencer became Duchess of Devonshire on her marriage to the Duke in 1774, at the height of the Georgian period, a period of fashion, decadence, and political change. Spirited and adored by the public at large she quickly found her marriage to be a disappointment, defined by her duty to produce a male heir and the Duke's philandering and callous indifference to her. She befriends Lady Bess but finds she is once again betrayed by her husband who wields his power with the three eventually living uncomfortably together. Against this background, and with the pressures of an unfaithful husband, strict social pressures and constant public scrutiny, Georgiana falls passionately in love with Charles Grey, a rising young Whig politician. However, despite his ongoing liaison with Lady Bess, the Duke refuses to allow her to continue the affair and threatens to take her children from her.

17. Bright Star (2009) | IMDb 7.0

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Bright Star
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0810784

It's 1818 in Hampstead Village on the outskirts of London. Poet Charles Brown lives in one half of a house, the Dilkes family who live in the other half. Through their association with the Dilkes, the fatherless Brawne family know Mr. Brown. The Brawne's eldest daughter, Fanny Brawne, and Mr. Brown don't like each other. She thinks he's arrogant and rude, and he feels that she is pretentious, knowing only how to sew (admittedly well as she makes all her own fashionable clothes), flirt and give opinions on subjects about which she knows nothing. Insecure struggling poet John Keats comes to live with his friend, Mr. Brown. Miss Brawne and Mr. Keats have a mutual attraction to each other, a relationship which however is slow to develop in part since Mr. Brown does whatever he can to keep the two apart. But other obstacles face the couple, including their eventual overwhelming passion for each other clouding their view of what the other does, Mr. Keats' struggling career which offers him little in the way of monetary security (which will lead to Mrs. Brawne not giving consent for them to marry), and health issues which had earlier taken the life of Mr. Keats' brother, Tom.

16. Miss Potter (2006) | IMDb 7.0

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Miss Potter
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0482546

Thirty years old and single, Beatrix Potter lives in London with her social-climbing parents, who are exasperated that she has turned down any number of eligible young men. Her only real friends are the animals which since childhood she has lovingly drawn and made up stories about. She finally succeeds in selling a book of the stories, and it becomes Norman Warne's first project. He quickly falls in love with both the book and Beatrix and together they carefully arrange publication. This proves the first of many successes, offering her the possibility of escaping from both her parents' way of life and London.

15. Jude (1996) | IMDb 7.0

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Jude
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116722

A stonemason steadfastly pursues a cousin he loves. However their love is troubled as he is married to a woman who tricked him into marriage and she is married to a man she does not love.

14. Ever After (1998) | IMDb 7.0

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Ever After
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120631

With the sudden death of her loving father, Danielle is made a servant by her new stepmother. She also has two new stepsisters, one quite kind but the other one really horrid. Still, Danielle grows up to be a happy and strong-willed young lady, and one day her path crosses that of handsome Prince Henry, who has troubles of his own at home. Luckily the nice Leonardo da Vinci is on hand to help all round.

13. Mansfield Park (1999) | IMDb 7.1

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Mansfield Park
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0178737

At 10, Fanny Price, a poor relation, goes to live at Mansfield Park, the estate of her aunt's husband, Sir Thomas. Clever, studious, and a writer with an ironic imagination and fine moral compass, she becomes especially close to Edmund, Thomas's younger son. Fanny is soon possessed of beauty as well as a keen mind and comes to the attention of a neighbor, Henry Crawford. Thomas promotes this match, but to his displeasure, Fanny has a mind of her own, asking Henry to prove himself worthy. As Edmund courts Henry's sister and as light shines on the link between Thomas's fortunes and New World slavery, Fanny must assess Henry's character and assert her heart as well as her wit.

12. Far from the Madding Crowd (2015) | IMDb 7.1

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Far from the Madding Crowd
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2935476

The story of independent, beautiful and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan), who attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), a sheep farmer, captivated by her fetching willfulness; Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge), a handsome and reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood (Michael Sheen), a prosperous and mature bachelor. This timeless story of Bathsheba's choices and passions explores the nature of relationships and love - as well as the human ability to overcome hardships through resilience and perseverance.

11. Becoming Jane (2007) | IMDb 7.1

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Becoming Jane
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0416508

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.

10. Stage Beauty (2004) | IMDb 7.2

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Stage Beauty
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0368658

Based in the 1660's of London's theaters, this film is about the rules of gender roles in theatre production, and means to change them for everyone's benefit. Ned Kynaston is the assumedly gay cross-dressing actor who has been playing female parts in plays for years, particularly Desdemona in Othello, he also has a close relationship with a member of the Royal Court, the Duke of Buckingham. One day however, the rules of only men playing women could change when aspiring actress Maria auditions as Kynaston's praised role, Desdemona, and soon enough, King Charles II decides to make the law that all female roles should be played only by women. Maria becomes a star, while Ned finds himself out of work. But after a while, Ned finds it in his nature to forgive Maria's aspiration, they may even fall in love, and Charles may proclaim women will be played by either gender.

9. Shakespeare in Love (1998) | IMDb 7.2

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Shakespeare in Love
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0138097

Will Shakespeare is a known but struggling poet, playwright and actor who not only has sold his next play to both Philip Henslow and Richard Burbidge but now faces a far more difficult problem: he is bereft of ideas and has yet to begin writing. He is in search of his muse, the woman who will inspire him but all attempts fail him until he meets the beautiful Viola de Lesseps. She loves the theatre and would like nothing more than to take to the stage but is forbidden from doing so as only men can be actors. She is also a great admirer of Shakespeare's works. Dressing as a man and going by the name of Thomas Kent, she auditions and is ideal for a part in his next play. Shakespeare soon sees through her disguise and they begin a love affair, one they know cannot end happily for them as he is already married and she has been promised to the dour Lord Wessex. As the company rehearses his new play, Will and Viola's love is transferred to the written page leading to the masterpiece that is Romeo and Juliet.

8. Testament of Youth (2014) | IMDb 7.2

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Testament of Youth
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1441953

A long, long time ago, back in the spring of 1914, they were so happy together. There was Vera Brittain, an upper class girl with ideas of her own; and her bright brother Edward; and his group of friends among whom Roland Leighton, wonderful, handsome, sensitive Roland Vera had fallen for... Always having great times together talking, laughing, exchanging ideas, walking, eating, swimming together; all of them envisioning the glittering future they deserved: Vera, despite her father's opposition, would study at Oxford, marry Roland and be a famous writer; Roland, as for him, would be acclaimed as a great poet while Edward and his friends would each become a prominent figure in his respective field... But then came that fateful day on 4 August 1914 when Britain declared war on Germany. All those beautiful dreams were to be shattered one after the other. All except one: Vera wound up becoming a writer... A writer but a pacifist as well.

7. The Young Victoria (2009) | IMDb 7.3

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The Young Victoria
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0962736

Dominated by her possessive mother and her bullying consort, Conroy, since childhood, teen-aged Victoria refuses to allow them the power of acting as her regent in the last days of her uncle, William IV's rule. Her German cousin Albert is encouraged to court her for solely political motives but, following her accession at age eighteen, finds he is falling for her and is dismayed at her reliance on trusty Prime Minister Melbourne. Victoria is impressed by Albert's philanthropy which is akin to her own desire to help her subjects. However her loyalty to Melbourne, perceived as a self-seeker, almost causes a constitutional crisis and it is Albert who helps restore her self-confidence. She proposes and they marry, Albert proving himself not only a devoted spouse, prepared to take an assassin's bullet for her, but an agent of much-needed reform, finally endorsed by an admiring Melbourne.

6. Belle (2013) | IMDb 7.4

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Belle
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2404181

BELLE is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Captain. Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife (Emily Watson), Belle's lineage affords her certain privileges, yet the color of her skin prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing. Left to wonder if she will ever find love, Belle falls for an idealistic young vicar's son bent on change who, with her help, shapes Lord Mansfield's role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England.

5. Jane Eyre (2011) | IMDb 7.4

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Jane Eyre 
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1229822

After a bleak childhood, Jane Eyre goes out into the world to become a governess. As she lives happily in her new position at Thornfield Hall, she meets the dark, cold, and abrupt master of the house, Mr. Rochester. Jane and her employer grow close in friendship and she soon finds herself falling in love with him. Happiness seems to have found Jane at last, but could Mr. Rochester's terrible secret be about to destroy it forever?

4. Howards End (1992) | IMDb 7.5

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Howards End
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104454

Encounter of three social classes of the England at the beginning of the century : the victorian capitalists (the Wilcoxes) considering themselves as aristocrats, whose only god is money ; the enlightened bourgeois (the Schlegels), humanistic and philanthropist ; and the workers (the Basts), fighting to survive. The Schlegel sisters' humanism will be torn apart as they try both to softly knock down the Wilcox's prejudices and to help the Basts.

3. Persuasion (1995) | IMDb 7.7

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Persuasion 
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114117

Eight years earlier, Anne Elliot, the daughter of a financially troubled aristocratic family, was persuaded to break off her engagement to Frederick Wentworth, a young seaman, who, though promising, had poor family connections. When her father rents out the family estate to Admiral Croft, Anne is thrown into company with Frederick, because his sister is Mrs. Croft. Frederick is now a rich and successful Captain, and a highly eligible bachelor. Whom will he marry? One of Anne's sister's husband's sisters? Or will he and Anne rekindle the old flame?

2. Sense and Sensibility (1995) | IMDb 7.7

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Sense and Sensibility
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114388

When Mr. Dashwood dies, he must leave the bulk of his estate to the son by his first marriage, which leaves his second wife and their three daughters (Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret) in straitened circumstances. They are taken in by a kindly cousin, but their lack of fortune affects the marriageability of both practical Elinor and romantic Marianne. When Elinor forms an attachment for the wealthy Edward Ferrars, his family disapproves and separates them. And though Mrs. Jennings tries to match the worthy (and rich) Colonel Brandon to her, Marianne finds the dashing and fiery John Willoughby more to her taste. Both relationships are sorely tried.

1. Pride & Prejudice (2005) | IMDb 7.8

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Pride & Prejudice
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0414387

The protagonist Elizabeth Bennett is a witty, sarcastic, somewhat stubborn young lady who really has an opinion about quite a lot including why she would not marry simply because of it is expected of her. Mr. Guy Darcy is a shy, rich, man who defiantly believes there is such a thing as superior birth.

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