Two classics of British literature are adapted for the screen in new Masterpiece productions that begin airing Sunday, Jan. 12.
Considered novelist E.M. Forster’s masterwork, Howards End is the story of two unconventional sisters navigating a changing world at the turn of the 20th century. Screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan brings a fresh take to the story in this new Masterpiece production.
Margaret Schlegel is an idealistic young woman who is courted by the older Henry Wilcox, a conservative businessman, after his wife dies unexpectedly and he becomes owner of the country estate Howards End. Meanwhile Margaret’s capricious younger sister, Helen, takes up the cause of a young bank clerk. In the absence of their late parents, the sisters’ interfering aunt tries to keep the young ladies on the straight and narrow.
Howards End airs in four parts Sundays at 8 PM beginning Jan. 12.
Jane Austen was chronically ill when she started work on a witty novel set in the seaside town of Sanditon. She never finished it. Screenwriter Andrew Davies brings the story to a satisfying conclusion in a new Masterpiece adaptation.
Sanditon tells the story of Tom Parker, who wants to turn the seaside village into a fashionable health resort. He enlists the backing of local bigwig Lady Denham. Through a mishap, Tom makes the acquaintance of the Heywoods and invites their daughter Charlotte for an extended stay at Sanditon. Meanwhile, Lady Denham plays matchmaker for her destitute nephew, Sir Edward. The arrival of mixed-race heiress Miss Lambe adds an interesting complication.
Episodes 1 and 2 of Sanditon air Jan. 12 beginning at 9 PM. The eight-part series continues Sundays at 9 PM.