Steve Coogan and Christine Langan’s U.K. company Baby Cow Productions has optioned television rights to Gill Hornby’s new novel, “Miss Austen.”

The critically acclaimed book – already lauded as one of the best novels of 2020 by The Times of London, Financial Times and BBC Online – follows the lives and loves of sisters Cassandra and Jane Austen. The tale is inspired by Cassandra’s infamous burning of Jane’s letters, a mystery that has long puzzled biographers and academics.

The London Observer described “Miss Austen” as “a novel of great kindness, often unexpectedly moving, with much to say about the status of ‘invisible’ older women.”

“Gill has brought such wit, ingenuity and heartbreaking tenderness to this literary mystery, turning it into a terrifically compelling and relevant novel,” said Langan, Baby Cow’s chief executive. “Not only does she effortlessly capture Austen’s unique and irresistible tone but, in Cassandra, she may have delivered us the ultimate Austen heroine. Baby Cow is thrilled to be entrusted with bringing this gem to our screens and to a whole new audience.”

Hornby added: “I am delighted that ‘Miss Austen’ is going to the brilliant team at Baby Cow, and excited to work with them as Cassandra moves from the page to the screen.”

Published in the U.K. in January by Penguin, “Miss Austen” is set for release Stateside in April by Flatiron.

Hornby is the author of the novels “The Hive” and “All Together Now” as well as “The Story of Jane Austen,” a biography of Austen for young readers. She is repped by Caroline Wood at Felicity Bryan Associates.