Get Ready for Sanditon
Before you watch Sanditon‘s romance and intrigue, beaches and balls, and fortune hunters and heart breakers, get the insider scoop on the MASTERPIECE show based on Jane Austen’s unfinished final book, and starring Theo James and Rose Williams!
Sanditon: Jane Austen's Unfinished Book
Before Jane Austen’s death at the age of 41, in 1817, she had begun what would be her final book: Sanditon. Illness prevented her from completing more than 11 chapters and nine pages of the twelfth, and of these chapters, several were written in pencil because sickness prevented her from holding a pen. She referred to the work as The Brothers, but it was later titled Sanditon by her family. Over the years, many an author has tried his or her hand at finishing Austen’s story of Charlotte Heywood, a plucky young heroine, and the wide array of characters she encounters at Sanditon, where the drama is as bracing as the sea air!
Playing Sanditon‘s bold, modern heroine is Rose Williams, no stranger to period drama after her breakout role in the historical drama series Reign, a big-screen turn in the 2016 Emily DIckenson biopic A Quiet Passion, and an upcoming role in the 15th-century dynastic series, Medici.
Jane Austen's First Black Character
Over the span of her six major novels, Jane Austen has given literature many unforgettable characters, but never before one of African descent. In Sanditon, we meet Miss Georgiana Lambe, described in the unfinished novel as a “young West Indian of large fortune,” of mixed race and around 17 years old. In the series, Miss Lambe is the ward of a reluctant Sidney Parker, who brings her, much to her dismay, from the West Indies to London, and from London to the seaside resort of Sanditon…where drama ensues!
American actress Crystal Clarke portrays Miss Lambe. Born and raised in the United States, Clarke graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2014 and has been busy ever since! Most recently, she appeared in the science fiction series Black Mirror, and starred the recent adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Ordeal by Innocence alongside Matthew Goode (Downton Abbey) and Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark). Her film credits include Annihilation, Assassin’s Creed, Star Wars Episode VIII, Woman in Gold and The King’s Daughter.
Theo James is Sidney Parker
Whether you know him as Downton Abbey‘s seductive, short-lived Turkish diplomat, Kemal Pamuk; mysterious Dauntless instructor Tobias “Four” Eaton in the Divergent films; the face of Hugo Boss’ signature scent; or one of his many other roles, you will discover Theo James anew as the brooding Austen Adonis, Sidney Parker!
Watch for Jane Austen Easter Eggs
In what Sanditon‘s production designer Grant Montgomery calls “a love letter to Jane,” he planted over 30 Austen references in the show! Blink and you’ll miss these Austen Easter eggs, some referencing the author’s books, and others nodding to details of her own life. Want to find out more? Subscribe to the MASTERPIECE email newsletter and be the among the first Sanditon fans to get the backstory and the details!
Leo Suter is Young Stringer
It’s Jane Austen, so in addition to sparkling wit and addictive drama, you’ve got to have a love triangle. And in Sanditon, it’s delivered in the form of Young Stringer. He’s the foreman on Sanditon’s construction project, but he’s actually an aspiring architect. And an aspiring love interest! Viewers may remember actor Leo Suter from his role as Drummond in Season 2 of Victoria, and they can look forward to seeing him again on MASTERPIECE in Beecham House!
Hear Authentic Music
Viewers expecting the familiar classical piano-and-string-led score for Sanditon are in for a wonderful—and faithful to the period—surprise! As composer Ruth Barrett (also of Victoria and The Durrells in Corfu) explains, “It focuses on something that was quite ripe in Regency days: folk music. Jane Austen was really into folk music—she had a big collection of standards in her repertoire. Also the style of dancing, and life in that time, was really quite decadent in the Regency period. It was quite wild on the dance floors, so the idea was that they would dance to music that was folk-inspired and quite wild—wilder than you’d see in a Victorian ballroom setting.” Want to go behind the scenes of Sanditon‘s score? Subscribe to the MASTERPIECE email newsletter for an exclusive interview with composer Ruth Barrett, plus other Sanditon extras following each episode!
Listen to composer Ruth Barrett’s Spotify playlist of inspirations for the Sanditon score—you’re sure to find some delightful surprises. And make sure to follow MASTERPIECE on Spotify so you’ll be the first to hear playlists for upcoming shows!
Binge Sanditon's Entire Season!
Why wait for the seaside romance, drama, and wit to unfold week-by-week? With PBS Passport, an added member benefit, you can binge the entire season of Sanditon!
Learn more about streaming MASTERPIECE shows on Passport.
Watch the Preview
Look for cast takeovers, Sanditon stories and more from MASTERPIECE on Instagram! And hear in-depth interviews with Theo James, Rose Williams, Crystal Clarke and more at the MASTERPIECE Studio Podcast.