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First look at Line of Duty star in new Jane Austen period drama

l to r rose leslie as isabella fowle, keeley hawes as cassandra austen, mirren mack as dinah and jessica hynes as mary austen in miss austen photo credit robert viglasky
First look at Keeley Hawes in Jane Austen dramaRobert Viglasky. - BBC

The first images of Line of Duty star Keeley Hawes' new period drama series Miss Austen are here.

Starring alongside Game of Thrones' Rose Leslie and Black Narcissus actress Patsy Ferran, Miss Austen is based off of Gill Hornby's best-selling novel of the same name – which reimagines the story of acclaimed novelist Jane Austen's sister Cassandra.

The four-part series begins in 1830, several years after Jane's death and explores the reasons why Cassandra chose to burn all of her sister's letters. "Cassandra (Keeley Hawes) races to see her young friend Isabella (Rose Leslie) who is about to lose her home following her father’s death," the official synopsis reads.

"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."

keeley hawes miss austen
Robert Viglasky - BBC

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Upon discovering the letters, Cassandra is "transported back to her youth," where we meet Young Cassandra and Jane (Patsy Ferran) who are navigating the "infatuations, family feuds and dashed hopes" which will shape Jane's future stories.

"Cassandra's re-evaluation of her past eventually leads her to realise 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 synopsis added.

The series also features Doctor Who's Jessica Hynes, The Witcher: Blood Origin star Mirren Mack, Downton Abbey's Phyllis Logan and Kevin McNally (The Crown).

Max Irons (Condor) Alfred Enoch (Harry Potter), Calam Lynch (Bridgerton) and Liv Hill (The Serpent Queen) round out the cast. Aisling Walsh is directing the series, while Stella Merz is producing.

l to r rose leslie as isabella fowle, keeley hawes as cassandra austen, mirren mack as dinah and jessica hynes as mary austen in miss austen photo credit robert viglasky
Robert Viglasky. - BBC

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"To have this hugely entertaining female-driven story told by such a stellar cast, led by Keeley Hawes, as Bonnie Productions' first drama is genuinely a dream come true," Christine Langan, executive producer for Bonnie Productions, who is co-producing the series with MASTERPIECE, said.

"Miss Austen is the perfect blend of intriguing mystery, vivid and engaging characters and beguiling period charm – BBC viewers certainly have a treat in store," Sue Deeks, Head of BBC Programme Acquisition, added.

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