An official website of Arlington County Government

Check out the Costumes, but Stay for the Story

High Drama and Romance, plus Literature and History

We recently noticed that the British actress Keira Knightly has made a lot of period costume films based on great books. 

Follow the title links to find both the films and the books they’re based on:


Anna Karenina
by Leon Tolstoy / DVD [2013]

In nineteenth-century Russia, the wife of an important government official loses her family and social status when she chooses the love of Count Vronsky over a passionless marriage.



by Ian McEwen / DVD [2008]

In 1935, imaginative thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis, misinterpreting a scene between her older sister Cecilia and Robbie Turner, the housekeeper’s son, later accuses Robbie of a crime she has no proof he committed and spends years trying to atone for her actions.



A Most Dangerous Method: The Story of Jung, Freud and Sabina Spielrein
by John Kerr / DVD [2012]

This history of the early years of psychoanalysis shows that the bitterly unresolvable split between Jung and Freud pivoted around a former patient and lover of Jung’s, whose story and own potentially important theoretical contributions to psychoanalysis were blocked by both men.



Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire
by Amanda Foreman / DVD [2008]

Lady Georgiana Spencer was the great-great-great-great-aunt of Diana, Princess of Wales, and was nearly as famous in her day. In 1774 Georgiana achieved immediate celebrity by marrying William Cavendish, fifth duke of Devonshire, one of England’s richest and most influential aristocrats. She became the queen of fashionable society and founder of the most important political salon of her time. But Georgiana’s public success concealed an unhappy marriage, a gambling addiction, drinking, drug-taking, and rampant love affairs with the leading politicians of the day.


Oliver Twist
by Charles Dickens / DVD miniseries [1999]

The adventures of a young orphan boy trying to survive amid greed and poverty in 19th-century London. Sold by an orphanage as an apprentice to a miserly undertaker, Oliver runs away and is taken in by Fagin, a thief in league with a murderous pair who are determined to see that Oliver never inherits the fortune he deserves.


Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen

The Bennet family has five daughters: the beautiful Jane, the clever Elizabeth, the bookish Mary, the immature Kitty and the wild Lydia. Unfortunately, if their father dies the family home will be inherited by a distant cousin, so their future happiness and security is dependent on the daughters making good marriages…



Princess of Thieves
DVD [2001]

Based on the tales of Robin Hood, this is the story of Robin Hoods’ daughter Gywn, as she helps save her father and Prince Philip. Gywn helps ensure that Richard the Lionhearts’ illegitimate son Philip becomes the rightful king of England.





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