Pride and Prejudice fans, take note.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that when we are bestowed with a new Jane Austen adaptation, we must dutifully tune in. Especially exciting is this one, an eight-part series based on Jane Austen’s unfinished novel Sanditon. The program will appear on ITV in the U.K. and Masterpiece on PBS in the U.S. when it’s released.
This adaptation will follow the contours of plot set out in Sanditon, an unfinished story made up of eleven chapters that Austen wrote just before her death in 1817. The special promises to be a lush period drama with plenty of excitement and intrigue, as well as the perceptive social commentary that is a signature of Austen’s work.
The central character of Sanditon is Charlotte Heywood, a spirited young woman who visits the seaside town of Sanditon and comes to know the people who live there, including Lady Denham, a wealthy widow, and Denham’s nieces and nephew: Clara Brereton, Esther Denham, and Sir Edward Denham. The action moves from Sanditon to London and the West Indies as new characters, family conflicts, and romantic possibilities swirl through Charlotte’s orbit.
Sanditon will be written by Andrew Davies, the scribe of the upcoming Les Misérables series, as well as War & Peace (2016), House of Cards (2013-2018), Brideshead Revisited (2008), and Pride and Prejudice (1995). Davies will executive produce alongside Rebecca Eaton, who has brought many PBS Masterpiece favorites to life—including Sherlock, Downton Abbey, Cranford, and Miss Marple—and Belinda Campbell (Death in Paradise, Dickensian, Hooten & the Lady).
According to Davies, “Jane Austen managed to write only a fragment of her last novel before she died—but what a fragment! Sanditon tells the story of the transformation of a sleepy fishing village into a fashionable seaside resort with a spirited young heroine, a couple of entrepreneurial brothers, some dodgy financial dealings...” and so much more. Filming will begin next year, so keep an eye out for more Sanditon news in 2019.
In the meantime, you can catch up on other Jane Austen adaptations, including Love & Friendship, the 2016 film based on Austen’s novella Lady Susan; Persuasion (1995); Sense and Sensibility (1995); and both the film (2005) and television (1995) adaptations of Pride and Prejudice.
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What’s your favorite Jane Austen adaptation? Are you team Pride and Prejudice or team Sense and Sensibility? We have a feeling we’ll all be team Sanditon once this new special is released.