Jane Austen’s last novel, Sanditon, (in progress when she died) is coming to TV. Masterpiece/PBS will film an 8-episode adaptation of the story.
It’s impossible to imagine how many thousands of pages she created sitting right there. A goose feather could meet no nobler purpose than to become one of the quill pens she dipped in endless bottles of ink.
Filming begins in spring, 2019. Never too early for eager Jane Austen fans to start getting excited.
Here’s the official press release:
RED PLANET PICTURES, ITV AND MASTERPIECE TO BRING JANE AUSTEN’S UNFINISHED FINAL NOVEL, SANDITON, TO LIFE
We are delighted to announce our new drama, based on Austen’s final manuscript, Sanditon, developed by Emmy and BAFTA-Award winning writer Andrew Davies.
Executive produced by our Creative Director, Belinda Campbell (Death in Paradise, Dickensian, Hooten & The Lady) and MASTERPIECE’s Rebecca Eaton, Austen’s original 11- chapter fragment has been extended into a sumptuous 8×60 minute drama series by acclaimed screenwriter Andrew Davies (War & Peace, Mr Selfridge, Les Misérables, Pride and Prejudice).
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.”
Andrew Davies added: “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, a West Indian heiress, and quite a bit of nude bathing. It’s been a privilege and a thrill for me to develop Sanditon into a TV drama for a modern audience.”
Belinda Campbell commented: “Andrew Davies’ compelling scripts bear all the hallmarks of the biting social commentary and realism that makes Jane Austen one of the most widely read writers in English literature. Sanditon’s themes of class divide, ambition, powerplay and matters of the heart are as relevant today as they were in the early 19th century and we can’t wait to bring this incredible adaptation to life for ITV audiences to enjoy.”