Sanditon by Jane Austen: soon to be a TV miniseries

by |July 16, 2018

Sandition Jane AustenJane Austen’s unfinished novel, Sanditon, will soon be adapted for TV. Let Austen fans around the world rejoice!

Sanditon was Austen’s last novel and was sadly never completed. Written in 1817, just a few short months before her death, it has never been adapted for television before.

Over the years many authors have tried their hand at completing the story Jane Austen began in Sanditon, but now we will be getting a whole entire miniseries’ worth of closure.

As an Austen fan, this is a fact that obviously fills me with unbridled joy! Especially as I’ve never been brave enough to read Sanditon before. The idea of starting an Austen novel that can never be finished was always too terrifying for me –  but perhaps the time has come to stop being such a coward?!

The series will be created by Andrew Davies, the very same Andrew Davies who wrote the screenplay for the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice miniseries (you know, the one where Colin Firth dives into the lake!?)

Sanditon follows the story of a young woman called Charlotte Heywood who goes to live in a small seaside village which is soon to be transformed into a holiday resort complete with modern bathing houses.

Austen wrote only eleven chapters of Sanditon. Originally titled “The Brothers” it was renamed Sanditon when it was first published in 1925. It is now most often published in a collection with Austen’s short epistolary novel, Lady Susan and another of her other unfinished novels, The Watsons.

Filming of Sanditon will begin in 2019. In the meantime, Andrew Davies is working on another adaptation of a beloved classic novel. His Les Miserables adaption will stick strictly to the novel by Victor Hugo, staying faithful to the source material rather than the musical. So this means no singing and dancing! The six part BBC miniseries is expected to air later this year.

Meanwhile, Davies says his adaption of Sanditon will feature, “a spirited young heroine, a couple of entrepreneurial brothers, some dodgy financial dealings, a West Indian heiress and quite a bit of nude bathing”.

All of this sounds amazing to me, but unfortunately we still have a long wait ahead for the miniseries. Of course, while we’re waiting it really does seem like the perfect time to read Sanditon. doesn’t it?

Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sanditonby Jane Austen

Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sanditon

by Jane Austen

Comprising one finished novel, Lady Susan, which was published posthumously, and two unfinished fragments, Sanditon and The Watsons, this collection – full of melodrama and burlesque, and exploring a range of literary styles and social classes – spans the entirety of Jane Austen's writing life.

The epistolary novel Lady Susan is the darkly humorous tale of the amatory schemes and machinations of an ambitious and unprincipled coquette. The Watsons is the tale of the refined and well-educated Emma Watson, forced by the second marriage of her aunt to return to the house of her impecunious father and face the marital plots and intrigues of her sisters. Begun in the last few months of Jane Austen's life, Sanditon, set in a fast-growing former fishing village, swiftly becoming a fashionable resort, pokes fun at the inhabitants of the new coastal town, with all their hypochondria, witlessness and self-obsession.

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About the Contributor

Sarah McDuling is Booktopia's Senior Content Producer and Editor of The Booktopian Blog. She has been in the bookselling game for almost a decade and a dedicated booklover since birth (potentially longer). At her happiest when reading a book, Sarah also enjoys talking/writing/tweeting about books. In her spare time, she often likes to buy a lot of books and take photographs of books. You can follow her on Twitter and Instragram @sarahmcduling

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