Andrew Davies’ adaptation of Jane Austen’s last, unfinished novel Sanditon certainly feels more modern — and dare we say sexier — than most Austen adaptations, but that hasn’t stopped the master-adaptor from paying homage to the 18th century novelist’s previous works.
From street names like Wickham Street and Bingley Place, to a nod to Davies’s own Pride and Prejudice adaptation starring Colin Firth, here are all the Austen references you might have missed so far…
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The Sanditon map
In episode one, Tom Parker (Kris Marshall) unveils his map of Sanditon, and eagle-eyed Jane Austen fans may have spotted that the street names featured seem more than a little familiar…
Fans of Austen’s collected works will recognise that many of the locations — Wickham Street, Willoughby Street, Darcy Place, Bingley Place, Brandon Gardens and Ferras Gardens, to name a few — are inspired by characters from her books, including Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility.
Shops are named after Austen characters
Jane Austen’s many characters are also the inspiration behind various shop names in the town of Sanditon, including Musgrove Bakery (above, left) — named after a fictional family in Austen’s 1818 novel Persuasion — which viewers can see as Charlotte first arrives in Sanditon.
The Mr Darcy/ Sidney Parker beach scene
In a sly nod to his own adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, screenwriter Andrew Davies has included a rather more risqué version of the famous lake scene starring Colin Firth as Mr Darcy.
In episode two of Sanditon, heroine Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams) is taking a stroll along the beach when she spots Sidney (played by Theo James), who’s emerging slow-motion from the sea — and as you can see from the clip above, Charlotte struggles to forget his “impressive” physique.
The Mr Darcy/ Sidney Parker portrait
In perhaps Austen’s most famous work, Pride and Prejudice, the heroine Lizzie Bennet first begins to visibly soften towards Mr Darcy when she visits his stately home, Pemberley — and contemplates a favourable portrait of him, which she admits is a pretty fair likeness.
A painting of Sidney Parker hangs in Tom and Mary Parker’s home in Sanditon, and in episode three — after Charlotte accidentally sees a naked Sidney emerge from the sea — our heroine contemplates the painting, much like Lizzie does.
Austen’s hypochondriac characters
Jane Austen’s works are chock-full with hypochondriac characters, whom she describes with biting satire — remember, for example, Emma’s father Mr. Woodhouse in Emma, or else the attention-seeking Mary Musgrove in Persuasion.
Sanditon is no exception, and includes the character Arthur Parker (Tom and Sidney’s brother, played by Turlough Convery), who flip-flops between sickly self-pity and bursts of robust health, galavanting about naked in the sea in the TV adaptation.
Sanditon aired in the UK in August-October 2019 on ITV
Sanditon airs in double bills from Sunday December 13 at 8/7c on PBS Masterpiece in the US