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Sense and Sensibility (BBC-1 2008, Hattie Morahan, Charity Wakefield)

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The end is in the beginning here as a caddish lover abandons the young woman he has just seduced. An act that has some serious repercussions for all the major players. Essentially S and S (which incidentally was the first of Austen’s novels to be published) is the story of two sisters Elinor (Hattie Morahan) and Marianne (the excellently named Charity Wakefield who herself sounds like she could have emerged from the pages of an Austen novel.) Early on the girls are left penniless after the death of the father (the wonderful Mark Gatiss as elder brother John inherits the entire estate). Marianne though is more than caught up in having not just one suitor but two in the shape of David Morrissey’s Colonel Brandon and Dominic Cooper’s slightly more dashing Willoughby.

Like all of Austen’s stories, Sense and Sensibility is concerned with the feelings of being in love but in an era where codes of etiquette were all and morals were tantamount if you were of a certain class this was often a veritable battlefield to make your way across.

production details
UK | BBC One | 3×60 minutes | Broadcast 1-13 January 2008

Writer: Andrew Davies
Novel: Jane Austen

cast
Leo Bill as Robert Ferrars
Dominic Cooper as Willoughby
Mark Gatiss as John Dashwood
Lucy Boynton as Margaret Dashwood
Hattie Morahan as Elinor Dashwood
Claire Skinner as Fanny Dashwood
David Morrissey as Colonel Brandon
Dan Stevens as Edward Ferrars
Linda Bassett as Mrs. Jennings
Caroline Hayes as Eliza
Charity Wakefield as Marianne
Janet McTeer as Mrs. Dashwood
Mark Williams as Sir John Middleton
Anna Madeley as Lucy Steele
Daisy Haggard as Miss Steele
Rosanna Lavelle as Lady Middleton
Simon Williams as Henry Dashwood
Jean Marsh as Mrs. Ferrars