First look — ‘Miss Austen’ with Keeley Hawes on PBS Masterpiece

Photo: PBS Masterpiece

Filming is underway on an all-star production of Gill Hornby’s best-selling and much loved novel Miss Austen. Miss Austen takes a literary mystery, one where Cassandra Austen notoriously burns her famous sister Jane’s letters and then reimagines it as a fascinating, witty and heart-breaking story of sisterly love, while creating in Cassandra a character as captivating as any Austen heroine.

The drama begins in 1830, not long after Jane has died. Cassandra (Keeley Hawes) races to see her young friend Isabella (Rose Leslie) who is about to lose her home following her father’s death. Cassandra is ostensibly there to help her friend, but her real motive is to find a stash of private letters which, in the wrong hands, could destroy Jane’s reputation.

Photo: PBS Masterpiece

On discovering them, Cassandra is overwhelmed as she is transported back to her youth. In flashback, we meet Young Cassy and Jane (Patsy Ferran) as they navigate the infatuations, family feuds and dashed hopes which shaped their lives and laid the foundations for Jane’s unforgettable stories.

Cassandra’s re-evaluation of her past eventually leads her to realize how blind she has been to the real cause of Isabella’s heartache and distress. Finding a way to guide Isabella towards true happiness, Cassandra is finally able to understand and celebrate the sacrifices she chose to make for her brilliant sister, Jane.

The four-part ‘Masterpiece‘ boasts a stellar cast including Keeley Hawes (Ashes to Ashes, It’s A SinBodyguardLine of Duty, The Durrells), Rose Leslie (Game of ThronesVigil), Patsy Ferran (LivingHot Milk), Jessica Hynes (Spaced, Twenty Twelve, W1A), Mirren Mack (The WitcherBlood OriginThe Nest), Phyllis Logan (Downton AbbeyShetland), Kevin McNally (The CrownTen Percent), Max Irons (CondorThe Wife), Alfred Enoch (How to Get Away with MurderFoundation), Calam Lynch (BridgertonArchie) and Liv Hill (The Serpent QueenElizabeth Is Missing).

Miss Austen will air on PBS and BBC1 in 2024.

In: Drama