1 August 2018 Susannah

Literary Films

Keira Knightley in Colette (2018)

There are some forthcoming literary films for us to look forward to. ITV in Britain is to make an adaptation of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel Sanditon, with a screenplay completing the book by Andrew Davies, that master of classic adaptations. Jane Austen wrote 11 chapters before she became too ill to continue. It is an extraordinary fragment, with a feisty heroine, a rich widow, a West Indian heiress, and wild financial speculations. Its characters are all at the seaside in search of health, husbands and money and it is wickedly funny (so hard to believe that Jane Austen was suffering all too real health problems as she wrote it). Filming will start early next year.

And there will be a movie called Colette about the remarkable French novelist Colette. This will star Keira Knightley as Colette (above), and Dominic West as her first abusive husband Willy, who tried to grab the credit for her early and hugely successful novel Claudine. This film will be released in September this year. To learn more about this fascinating woman and writer, I can recommend Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette by Judith Thurman.

And if you get a chance to see the film Becoming Astrid, do go and see it. I loved this film about the feisty and rebellious young Astrid Lindgren before she began her writing career.

Tell me your thoughts by leaving a comment.

  Susannah Fullerton: HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Colette
  Susannah Fullerton: The Life and Writings of Astrid Lindgren

PBS, ITV to Adapt Jane Austen’s Unfinished Novel ‘Sanditon’
Film Review: ‘Colette’
Berlin Film Review: ‘Becoming Astrid’

Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette by Judith Thurman
Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette by Judith Thurman

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Featured image credit- Keira Knightley in Colette (2018) © Sundance Institute pro. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5437928/
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Comments (4)

  1. Helen Gentle

    I thought you’d enjoy this, Susannah…
    We were on a guided tour of Westminster Abbey last week, when the guide became very animated, hinting that we were about to see the memorial for ‘England’s greatest writer!’ I immediately responded, ‘Jane Austen?’ He simply raised an eyebrow.
    We turned the corner, and, of course, right beside Shakespeare is our Jane. I guess I was right!!
    Helen Gentle

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Lovely story! Thanks for sharing it. It is so appropriate that JA is next to Shakespeare – the greatest male writer and the greatest female.

  2. Caroline Lurie

    Hi Susannah,
    Jane Austen’s novel Sanditon was actually completed by ‘Another Lady’ and published in 1975. I happen to know this, because the ‘Other Lady’ was my godmother, Marie Dobbs, who only died a couple of years ago. She was Australian, which at the time slightly outraged English critics – a ‘colonial’ daring to tamper with ‘our’ Great Tradition. She was happy to publish anonymously, partly because her husband was a diplomat and their wives weren’t meant to do anything in public except be wives!

    Best wishes,

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Thanks so much for sharing that with me. I actually met Marie Dobbs once when she was visiting Sydney. She came to a JASA meeting and signed my copy of Sanditon that she had completed. She seemed delightful, so I am sure she was a lovely godmother.

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