“Sanditon”, Jane Austen’s Unfinished Novel, Comes to PBS’s Masterpiece

Calling all Jane Austen fans!

Jane Austen’s last uncompleted novel, Sanditon, will be adapted to the small screen. This will be a joint production by ITV, Red Planet Pictures and Masterpiece by PBS. 

The 11-chapter fragment will be extended to a 60-minute 8-episode drama series. It will be written by acclaimed screenwriter Andrew Davies, who wrote other literary adaptations such War & Peace, Mr. SelfridgeLes Misérables and Pride and Prejudice.

From the announcement:

Written only months before Austen’s death in 1817, Sanditon tells the story of the joyously impulsive, spirited and unconventional Charlotte Heywood and her spiky relationship with the humorous, charming (and slightly wild!) Sidney Parker. When a chance accident transports her from her rural hometown of Willingden to the would-be coastal resort of the eponymous title, it exposes Charlotte to the intrigues and dalliances of a seaside town on the make, and the characters whose fortunes depend on its commercial success. The twists and turns of the plot, which take viewers from the West Indies to the rotting alleys of London, expose the hidden agendas of each character and sees Charlotte discover herself… and ultimately find love.

ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill commented: “It’s a rich, romantic, family saga built upon the foundations Jane Austen laid. There is no one better to adapt her unfinished novel than Andrew who has an incredible track record for bold and original adaptations. We’re delighted to commission Sanditon from Belinda Campbell and her team at Red Planet Pictures.”

MASTERPIECE’s Executive Producer, Rebecca Eaton commented: “Jane Austen and Andrew Davies are a match made in MASTERPIECE heaven. We can’t wait to introduce our audience to this wise and wonderful drama.” MASTERPIECE
is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston.”

Casting will be announced soon, with filming expected to begin next year.

I am excited about this because not only is it another Austen adaptation, but will be done by Andrew Davies, who did such a wonderful job with other Austen literary adaptations like Pride and Prejudice (My absolute favorite!), Emma, Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Abbey. So there is no doubt in mind this will be another instant classic! 

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