Sarah Waters’ second book, Affinity, is to be adapted by Pride and Prejudice screenwriter Andrew Davies.

This is the third time a Waters book has been turned into television following Tipping The Velvet (2002) and Fingersmith, (2005) both for the BBC.

Affinity is a gothic ghost story of a Victorian girl who finds herself attracted to a female inmate at Millbank, one of London’s harshest prisons.

It will be made into a single film for ITV1 starring Zoe Tapper, Anna Madeley, Anna Massey, Anne Reid and Amanda Plummer.

ITV drama controller Sally Haynes said:

“Both Andrew Davies and Sarah Waters are renowned and well-loved for their bold, atmospheric, unique period pieces.

“The combination of supernatural mystery, Sapphic romance and a disturbing twist to the tale give this an entirely different flavour to the typical costume drama, one we’re proud to have on our slate.”

Sarah Waters, talking about Tipping The Velvet, has emphasised how she wants her adapted novels to be more than just titillation for the tabloids.

“If it only appealed to middle-aged men or boys I would have been very disappointed but to me it seemed to have a very wide appeal – lesbians liked it, my mum liked it and The Sun liked it too and I thought that was great,” she said of the first and most acclaimed of her adapted works.

Davies is Britain’s best-known adaptor of novels for television, with a long list of credits including Pride and Prejudice, Bleak House and Doctor Zhivago.

ITV are planning to broadcast in spring 2008