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Miss Austen TV series with Keeley Hawes comes to the BBC

The BBC has confirmed it will air the upcoming TV series based on Gill Hornby’s best-selling novel Miss Austen.

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The adaptation, penned by BAFTA-winning writer Andrea Gibb, will star Keeley Hawes, (It’s A Sin, Bodyguard) and Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones).

The star-studded cast also includes Patsy Ferran, Jessica Hynes, Mirren Mack, Phyllis Logan, Kevin McNally, Max Irons, Alfred Enoch, Calam Lynch and Liv Hill.

Directed by BAFTA winner Aisling Walsh, the four-part drama began production last month in the UK. The series is produced by Stella Merz, whose previous works include ‘Gentleman Jack.’

Miss Austen delves into a literary mystery surrounding Jane Austen’s letters, which were famously burnt by her sister Cassandra. The drama reimagines this historical event as a poignant tale of sisterly affection, presenting Cassandra as a character as engaging as any Austen heroine. The narrative, set in 1830, follows Cassandra, portrayed by Keeley Hawes, as she tries to protect her late sister Jane’s reputation by securing her private letters.

Keeley Hawes (Cassandra Austen) in MISS AUSTEN
Keeley Hawes (Cassandra Austen) in MISS AUSTEN. Credit: Robert Viglasky

The show promises to be a captivating journey through the sisters’ younger years, exploring their personal struggles and experiences that inspired Jane Austen’s timeless novels. Cassandra’s reflections lead her to insights about her past and the sacrifices made for her sister.

A collaboration between Bonnie Productions, MASTERPIECE in the US, and Federation Studios, the series will air on the BBC in the UK.

Filming is underway and a release date is to be announced.

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Christine Langan, Executive Producer said: “To have this hugely entertaining female-driven story told by such a stellar cast, led by Keeley Hawes, as Bonnie Productions’ first drama is genuinely a dream come true. Gill Hornby has found an ingenious way into the Austen world, creating female characters modern audiences can empathise with and delight in. I’m so honoured to be bringing this wonderful novel to the screen in collaboration with the deeply talented trio of writer, Andrea Gibb, director, Aisling Walsh and producer, Stella Merz.”

Sue Deeks, Head of BBC Programme Acquisition, added: “Miss Austen is the perfect blend of intriguing mystery, vivid and engaging characters and beguiling period charm – BBC viewers certainly have a treat in store.”

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