David Morrissey and Anna Maxwell Martin have signed to star in a three-part BBC adaptation of 1930s novel South Riding.

The classic novel, set in post-Depression Yorkshire, is being adapted for BBC One by Andrew Davies, whose credits include TV versions of Bleak House, Sense And Sensibility and Little Dorrit.

Andrew said: “It’s a terrific love story, but it’s also a portrait of a whole community in turmoil.

“It’s also full of rich comedy, with some wonderful minor characters, splendidly cast. I feel as if we’ve rediscovered a forgotten masterpiece.”

The novel was written by English journalist Winifred Holtby.

Anna stars as Sarah Burton, who must choose between the career she has fought for and the man least likely to have won her heart.

David plays Robert Carne, an unlikely victim of financial disaster as Britain emerges from the Great Depression.