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Jane Austen News – Issue 126

jane austen news

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


Sanditon – The Family Saga Coming Soon

Jane Austen’s unfinished novel Sanditon is being adapted for television for the first time ever, and at the head of the project is the screenwriter behind the iconic 1995 Pride and Prejudice TV adaptation, Andrew Davies.

On July 10, Polly Hill, ITV’s Head of Drama, announced plans to bring Sanditon to life for television audiences in the U.K. and – good news for American Austen fans – in the U.S.A too. The series will be a collaboration between Red Planet Pictures and Masterpiece on PBS. It will be an eight-part drama and will be based on the eleven chapter fragments author Jane Austen left behind in the manuscript she was working on at the time of her death.

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.

Andrew Davies

There’s no news on which actors might be featured in the series yet, and a release date is also yet to be announced, but filming for Sanditon is expected to begin as early as spring 2019. We can hardly wait!


The Top 20 Austen Adaptations?

There’s an ongoing debate about which Austen adaptation is “the best”. Well this week the Jane Austen News came across a list of what are apparently the top 20 Austen screen adaptations – though they’ve very diplomatically put what are commonly the two most popular Pride and Prejudice adaptations as tied for first place… Anyway, we thought we’d share the list with you and see what you thought of the ranking:


Austen In The Great Outdoors

Dumbarton House in Washington D.C. is hosting its seventh annual Jane Austen Film Festival this month, which sees four classic Jane Austen adaptations being shown in the grounds of Dumbarton House on a large outdoor cinema screen.

Love and Friendship was shown on July the 11th, but there are still three more films set to be shown in the festival. These are:

Sense and Sensibility (1995) – Wednesday July 18th 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm

Emma (1996) – Wednesday July 25th 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm

Pride and Prejudice (2005) – Wednesday August 1st 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm

Gates open at 7:00pm for members of the museum, and at 7:30pm for members of the public. The films will start at sunset (approximately 8:30pm) and bringing a blanket to sit on is highly encouraged. More information can be found here.

What a lovely way to spend a summer evening – watching an Austen film beneath the stars! (Jealous? Us? Never…)


Book Recommendations Based On Your Favourite Childhood Classics

Choosing which of the new book releases to read is always a bit of a tough task. So at the Jane Austen News we were very  happy when this week we came across a great article that recommends which of the many new releases you might enjoy based on which of the following classics was your favourite childhood book.

The recommendations were:

For Charlotte’s Web, read Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras – both books are about unlikely friendships.

For Where the Wild Things Are, read The Pisces by Melissa Broder – The Pisces also explores the idea of escaping into another fantastical world where a difficult decision must be made.

For The Rainbow Fish, read Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly DeVos – both books are all about being yourself despite everything.

For The Cat in the Hat, read Final Draft by Riley Redgate – if you like the way the Cat in the Hat tempts trouble, then the way Laila deals with absurd writing assignments in this book could appeal to you.

For Madeline, read The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts by Tessa Fontaine – if you admired Madeline’s bravery, this is another courageous adventure story.

For The Velveteen Rabbit, read Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno – the Velveteen Rabbit wants to become real, while in Summer of Salt the main character’s coming-of-age will be the day her magic appears. If it appears.

For Stellaluna, read The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil – Stellaluna is the story of a baby bat who is raised in a family of birds. The Girl Who Smiled Beads is another refugee story.

Not all of our childhood favourites get a mention, but nonetheless, it’s a pretty good list! The full article can be read here.


Jane Austen Day with Charlotte

Jane Austen News is our weekly compilation of stories about or related to Austen. Here we will feature a variety of items, including craft tutorials, reviews, news stories, articles and photos from around the world. If you’d like to include your story, please contact us with a press release or summary, along with a link. You can also submit unique articles for publication in our Online Magazine.

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3 thoughts on “Jane Austen News – Issue 126

  1. Any list of the best Austen adaptations that doesn’t even rank any Wishbone adaptation is clearly incomplete.

  2. I’m disappointed to see that my favorite Pride and Prejudice adaptation was not included in the list. It was from around 1985, a BBC five-part mini-series which starred Elizabeth Garvie and David Rintoul, beyond doubt the best Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy of all time. Admittedly Mrs. Bennet was a bit much, but everyone else was quite good, especially Sabina Franklyn as Jane. Colin Firth was completely inappropriate as Mr. Darcy; he would have been much better cast as Heathcliff, and Jennifer Ehle is far too smug and prissy to be Elizabeth Bennet.

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