The World of Sanditon: The Official Companion
By Andrew Davies, Sara Sheridan
Author Website: sarasheridan(.)com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Caro
An exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of Jane Austen’s Sanditon television series.
Sanditon, the final novel Austen was working on before her death, has been given an exciting conclusion, and will be brought to a primetime television audience on PBS/Masterpiece for the very first time by Emmy and BAFTA Award winning screenwriter Andrew Davies (War & Peace, Mr. Selfridge, Les Misérables, Pride and Prejudice).
This, the official companion to the Masterpiece series, contains everything a fan could want to know. It explores the world Austen created, along with fascinating insights about the period and the real-life heartbreak behind her final story. And it offers location guides, behind the scenes details, and interviews with the cast, alongside beautiful illustrations and set photography.
If reading Sanditon isn’t enough for Jane Austen fans, The World of Sanditon: The Official Companion contains information about Austen, her writing, her life, the creation of Sanditon the television series and so much more.
The companion has a biography of Jane Austen in which the reader learns about her life in the 1800s as the daughter of a reverend, her family, the way women were raised and what was expected of them, along with stories of the men she loved. Society and the dos and don’ts a lady should follow affected her life until her death and inspired her novels. Without the events that shaped her life, we wouldn’t have had Pride and Prejudice and all her beloved stories.
The book contains many behind the scenes pictures of the cast, locations, reference images of artifacts used for scenes, and one of my favorite elements of filming period shows, wardrobe! The companion has a detailed section about the type of dresses women of different social classes wore along with accessories. It’s always nice to see how in depth the crew behind a series or film takes special detail and care to have everything match the period they’re portraying.
The companion also includes several short biographies of women who in their time proved they could be more than what was expected of them. It’s interesting to learn fun facts throughout the book, such as the ones the actors share in their individual interviews. One of my favorite answers has to be Turlough Convery, the actor who plays Arthur Parker, when he mentions that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is his favorite Jane Austen novel.
Special mention is for the hardcover edition whose cover is a beautiful dark green with copper foil letters. It has a nice layout design along with great behind-the-scenes pictures and drawings. Its exterior resembles an 1800s book while its interior has interesting information about the series.
The companion complements the book well and lets the viewer in on details and elements that were of use to create the TV series. It has stories of the creators explaining their process and love for Austen which shows how special of a project this was for them.
If you’re a fan of Jane Austen I recommend you read the book, watch the series and then go behind the scenes with the companion.