Wednesday, 30 October 2019


This post offers you the chance to win an ebook copy of the book described, The World of Sanditon, The Official Companion to the ITV series.Thanks to Orion Books for providing a free copy to give away.  Scroll down and take your chances to win. The giveaway contest ends on 12th November and it is open internationally. Good luck! 

The World of Sanditon, the official companion to the ITV series, published by Orion Books delves behind the scenes giving you the inside scoop on Andrew Davies’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s last, unfinished work.

The book allows you to go behind the scenes with the cast and crew, exploring the world that Austen created and offering fascinating insights about a period and the real – life heartbreak behind her final story.

The book will be a gorgeous addition to your Austen or period drama shelf: good-sized, beautifully designed, loads of pictures and the best information on every Regency and Sanditon related subject you can imagine.

You will also have access to location guides, interviews with the cast, beautiful photography from the series and in-depth historical information by esteemed author Sara Sheridan.

How different is Sanditon from other Asten works? 

Apart from being unfinished, Sanditon is quite different from other Austen previous works. "In the last year of her life, Jane Austen embarked on a new novel, a bold departure from anything she had done before",  Andrew Davies  declares in his forward to the companion book. 
The Emmy and BAFTA-Award winning writer got it right: Austen's decision to move to a setting like Sanditon, a Regency seaside resort,  gave her final work the chance of bold changes respect to the usual settings and dynamics of her provincial Hampshire. In the 12 chapters she wrote,  she created for her heroine, Charlotte Heywood, a scenario closer to the worldly and dangerous Bath she had created for naive Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey.

Sanditon was born of a Regency phenomenon, the seaside holiday. The world of Sanditon is definitely less provincial and more open to change and modernity than Hampshire's country gentry's  society. Sanditon gives its characters more opportunities for a less formal behaviour and exposes them to modernity, business and hazard. How far would Jane Austen go? We can't know for sure,  we can only figure it out using our knowledge of what she had already written.  But is her creativity so foreseeable?

Andrew Davies' Sanditon 

Both Jane Austen's and Andrew Davies's Sanditon tell the story of Tom Parker, who is obsessed with turning the sleepy seaside village of Sanditon into a fashionable health resort. He enlists the backing of the lady of the town, Lady Denham. Through a mishap, Tom makes the acquaintance of the Heywoods and invites their eldest daughter, Charlotte for an extended stay at Sanditon.

Meanwhile, Lady Denham, a widow, is playing matchmaker for her destitute nephew, Sir Edward, who is determined to seduce Lady Denham’s ward, Clara. The arrival of wealthy, mixed-race heiress Miss Lambe, under the protection of Tom’s upright brother Sidney, adds an interesting complication. Eligible men naturally find Miss Lambe fascinating, while Charlotte is intrigued by Sidney.

In the main cast Rose Williams as Charlotte Heywood, Theo James as Sidney Parker, Kate Ashfield as Mary Parker, Crystal Clarke as Miss Georgiana Lambe, Turlough Convery as Arthur Parker, Jack Fox as Sir Edward Denham, Kris Marshall as Tom Parker, Matthew Needham as Mr. Crowe, Anne Reid as Lady Denham, Alexandra Roach as Diana Parker, Lily Sacofsky as Clara Brereton, Charlotte Spencer as Esther Denham, Mark Stanley as Lord Babington, Leo Suter as James Stringer. 

The TV show premiered on British ITV on 25th August and its final episode was broadcast on  13th October 2019. It is now going to premiere in Australia on 1st November (BBC First) and in the US on 12 January 2020 (PBS Masterpiece).

My review

The Official Companion to the TV series is first of all a gorgeous book I fell in love with as soon as I unwrapped it on its arrival.  I couldn't keep my eyes off its stylished cover, precious paper, wonderful photos. At a following more careful look, once I started leafing through the pages and reading, I realized the treasure I had in my hands: Sara Sheridan did a thorough, awesome job researching the historical, social and cultural context of Austen's Sanditon.

The guide to the TV series is actually a guide to the Regency Era and so many of its fascinating aspects! You'll discover about men and women fashion, balls and married life, racy Georgians and gossip,  debts and debtors' prisons, medicine and seaside holidays, Austen and other writers of the same age, but you'll also get a chance to have a look behind the scenes and read the cast interviews, as well.

You'll find out whether Rose Williams (Charlotte Heywood)  blushed or was embarassed while filming a certain scene with Theo James (Sidney Parker), what Kris Marshall (Tom Parker) thinks of Bath - which happens to be one of Austen's settings and his own native town -  or what Theo James (Sidney Parker) appreciates of wearing Regency clothing,  as well as the arts and crafts behind iconic scenes like the cricket match or the regatta.

Will the companion book spoil the pleasure of watching the series if you haven't yet? I don't think so, or better, I'm sure it won't. It'll provide you with the needed background knowledge, which you may use to enjoy it fully. There are no spoilers about the plot nor important twists revealed.

If you have already seen and liked the series, the book will be your companion on memory lane and will help you relive the excitement of discovering Sanditon and its unforgettable characters for the first time.

If you are a fan, well, it must be included in your Sanditon collection, no doubt!


wendyausten said...

Excellent review, I love the Austen’s book and the serie, I Solís like to have this book. How do you participate in the contest? Greetings from Colombia. Wendy Garcia

Maria Grazia said...

You should use the widget below the post, Wendy. Thanks for your interest.

Ceri said...

I have my eye on this book, it's gorgeous! I watched all of the series and while I was left a bit flat by the ending, I hope they make a second series :)

Vicki H said...

I'm really looking forward to seeing this series. The companion book looks gorgeous.

Lucinda W. said...

I hope there will be a second season to redeem the lame ending!

M.J. Moore said...

I can't wait for the PBS broadcast! There's so much scope for exploration in this new adaptation. Also I'm looking forward to the music- Davies' choices in the P&P miniseries were thoughtful and playful at the same time.

darcybennett said...

I haven't been able to watch yet and am anxiously waiting for it to premiere on PBS in January. I have been watching fan videos for it though and love all the characters already. Thanks for the giveaway!

NovElla said...

I’m really looking forward to watching the Sanditon series! This book looks like a great addition.

BeckyC said...

Wonderful post. I am anxiously waiting to watch. The book would be a fun addition.

Carole said...

Looking forward to this series. cheers

RuthT said...

Loved the series (not so much the ending!). The book looks a nice addition

wendyausten said...

I can´t stop reading about Sanditon, we need a season 2.

Lúthien84 said...

I have ordered my hardback copy of The World of Sanditon and it doesn't hurt to have an e-book in my reader. I haven't watched the series yet but I'm hoping there will be a second series to turn the ending of Series 1 to a happier one.

Unknown said...

I love Charlotte as a character. I find Sydney misterious and jaded, has many layers as a character and would love to watch season 2.I think that Charlotte and Sydney are complementary as characters: one as an open book the other almost ermetic.I can not express how much I'd love to see theory development în a new season

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