Jane Austen’s unfinished novel Sanditon is being adapted into a television series by British television channel ITV and American broadcaster PBS. Written a few months before the author’s death in 1817, Sanditon is about the spirited and unconventional Charlotte Heywood’s relationship with the charming and slightly wild Sidney Parker. The novel travels from rural England to London’s seedy back alleys and the West Indies as it traces Charlotte’s journey of self discovery.
The original 11-chapter fragment will be adapted into eight 60-minute episodes by screenwriter Andrew Davies, who has previously scripted the television adaptations of War & Peace (2016), Vanity Fair (1998), Middlemarch (1994) and Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (1995)
“Jane Austen managed to write only a fragment of her last novel before she died – but what a fragment,” Davies said in a
press statement, adding that the story included “a couple of entrepreneurial brothers, some dodgy financial dealings, a West Indian heiress and quite a bit of nude bathing.”
ITV drama head Polly Hill said that Davies’s script is “rich, romantic, family saga built upon the foundations Jane Austen laid.” The series will go into production next year. The cast is yet to be announced.
There have been several continuations and spin-offs of the unfinished novel, the most well-known being Sanditon by Jane Austen and Another Lady (Marie Dobbs).
Austen is known for her novels that critiqued and reflected British upper-class society and her works have inspired numerous adaptations, including several Pride and Prejudice adaptations and a popular BBC mini-series, starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle.