Sanditon and The Watsons: Austen's Unfinished Novels

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Courier Corporation, Mar 6, 2012 - Fiction - 112 pages
2 Reviews
Praised by critics and studied by scholars, Jane Austen's novels endure because of their popularity with readers. The author's witty and astute observations elevate her tales of parties, gossip, and romance into matters of captivating drama, offering an evocative portrait of everyday life in the towns and countryside of Regency England. Austen's premature death at the age of forty-two curtailed her legacy, and her devotees have eagerly read and re-read her handful of books. This collection features two of her unfinished novels, an often overlooked pair of gems that enrich our appreciation of Austen’s storytelling gifts.
These writings first appeared posthumously, when Austen's nephew included the texts in an 1871 memoir of his celebrated relative. The Watsons unfolds in a familiar domestic milieu, in which a spirited heroine finds her marriage opportunities narrowed by poverty and pride. In contrast, Sanditon ventures into markedly different territory. Set at a seaside resort, among a cast of hypochondriacs and speculators, it suggests that Austen's work might have taken some unexpected new directions. Even if these incomplete stories had been of little intrinsic value, they would have been of interest as literary records and curiosities. As it happens, they are of high quality and worthy of reading for their own sake, for pleasure as well as study.
 

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User Review  - KimMR - LibraryThing

Listening to this excellent audiobook of Jane Austen's incomplete novels very capably narrated by Anna Bentinck was a bittersweet experience. While I enjoyed Austen's customary sharp wit and social ... Read full review

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User Review  - emperatrix - LibraryThing

Like Austen's other novels, Sanditon offers a look at the little dramas that mark small-town living. However, this time, Austen takes her readers away from the country to the coast when the observant ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Jane Austen's life is striking for the contrast between the great works she wrote in secret and the outward appearance of being quite dull and ordinary. Austen was born in the small English town of Steventon in Hampshire, and educated at home by her clergyman father. She was deeply devoted to her family. For a short time, the Austens lived in the resort city of Bath, but when her father died, they returned to Steventon, where Austen lived until her death at the age of 41. Austen was drawn to literature early, she began writing novels that satirized both the writers and the manners of the 1790's. Her sharp sense of humor and keen eye for the ridiculous in human behavior gave her works lasting appeal. She is at her best in such books as Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), and Emma (1816), in which she examines and often ridicules the behavior of small groups of middle-class characters. Austen relies heavily on conversations among her characters to reveal their personalities, and at times her novels read almost like plays. Several of them have, in fact, been made into films. She is considered to be one of the most beloved British authors.

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