My New Obsession: Youtube Literature Adaptations

Spring and Easter greetings everyone,

First of all, I apologize for the absence from here. Things took a couple of unexpected turns and threw me off track for a bit but now I am back and better than ever! And despite the universe having an opinion on my life, I have managed to read several books and have caught up on some of the Youtube adaptations of literary classics.

I guess, the literature vlog trend started with the highly popular The Lizzy Bennet Diaries, a vlog version of Pride & Prejudice, and since then, most of Jane Austen’s novels have found their ways to the new format as well as other classics. Such a concept perhaps makes more sense with a well-known story for the audience to recognize and appreciate the adaptation of characters and settings. Several of these adaptations are actually multi-platform based with the characters having Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, and side characters having their own Youtube channels as well. This brings a new level of audience participation to the story and makes you feel included. That is, if you manage to follow them while they post the vlogs and not when they are all done, which can also be nice so you can binge-watch them over a weekend (as I have…)

Currently, the only ‘live’ adaptation I follow is the second season of Green Gables Fables, an adaptaion of Anne of Green Gables, now covering most of the plot from Anne of the Island. So we meet Anne, Gilbert, Diana, Phil, Roy, Ruby (sob!), Stella, and Priscilla going through university and I really like the way the producers and writers update the characters to our present time. So you can still jump on and join the live audience interaction with this one. They post a vlog every Wednesday, so you can binge-watch the first season and the second up to now to catch up and be ready for the next video!

Gilbert, Anne, and Diana

Something to note is of course that the quality of these adaptaions vary a lot depending on the production company and funds they had to work with. However, that does not necessarily mean that the more funding makes a better product. In fact, since the format mostly calls for one of the characters to use these videos as their personal in-character project, it should feel natural and realistic, and to be honest, some of the more expensive productions have felt a bit off in that regard, eg. too good lighting, too good sound, too good set-up, too easy for characters to ‘be okay’ with the camera etc.

In this regard, the best adaptation I have seen so far has been the version of Mansfield Park called From Mansfield With Love. This felt realistic and natural all the way, and the way characters were introduced seemed plausible as well as their interactions with the camera. I finished binge-watching it this week and I highly recommend it. And not only for the fact that you start to love Mr Rushworth!

An adaptation which I have a small hope of seeing making a season two, is The March Family Letters. This covered the first part of Little Women, or the actual book called Little Women but not Good Wives. I mention this because most movies and books seem to have both parts in them but only calls it ‘Little Women’. So, so far I miss the plot in the last half with Meg’s wedding, Amy’s Europe tour, Jo’s publishing, and all the love conflicts in the Youtube version. And since I really liked the adaptaion, I would love for it to continue.

But this appears to be a continuing trend and when done right, it can become a really great way to engage with literary works, and I enjoy the comment sections as much as the videos because the audience is usually so engaged in deciphering and analysing the updated work and compairing to the original version.

My only tip for watching these versions is NOT to play the ‘entire playlist’ version because that will exclude the Q&A videos and other characters’ videos (which both can hold plot and character developments in addition to the main character’s videos). Also, look in the comment sections and bio for links to their other social media in-character profiles. These little things can give a whole new dimension to the characters’ personalities.

Here is a small list of other Youtube literature adaptations, and if you know of any others please let me know!

Frankenstein, MDEmma ApprovedNorthboundProject DashwoodThe Autobiography of Jane EyreWelcome to SanditionClassic Alice – Elinor and Marianne take Barton – Nothing Much to Do – Lovely Little Losers – Shakes – A Tell Tale Vlog – Kissing in the Rain – The Misselthwaite Archives – The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy – Carmilla – In Earnest – Jules and Monty – East & West – Words From Wilde – Ben Jonson’s Vlog – Charlotte’s Web Series – Project Green Gables – Mac and Beth – The Writing Majors – The Soliloqies of Santiago – Dorian Gray (coming soon) – Any Other Vlog – Pride Week and Prejudice – Like, As It Is – Twelfth Grade (or Whatever) – Call Me Katie – Nick Carraway Chronicles –



About Ann-Cathrine 39 Articles
Established 1987 in Aarhus, Denmark. MA degree in English and Art History from Aarhus University, Denmark. Loves books, art, writing, coffee, dandelions, paper dolls, and haute couture.