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(Lady Susan / The Watsons / Sanditon) by…
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(Lady Susan / The Watsons / Sanditon) (original 1871; edition 1975)

by Jane Austen (Author)

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2,006358,355 (3.63)167
Classic Literature. Fiction. Short Stories. HTML:

Collecting three lesser-known works by one of the nineteenth century's greatest authors, Jane Austen's Lady Susan, The Watsons and Sanditon is edited with an introduction by Margaret Drabble in Penguin Classics.
These three short works show Austen experimenting with a variety of different literary styles, from melodrama to satire, and exploring a range of social classes and settings. The early epistolary novel Lady Susan depicts an unscrupulous coquette, toying with the affections of several men. In contrast, The Watsons is a delightful fragment, whose spirited heroine Emma Watson finds her marriage opportunities limited by poverty and pride. Written in the last months of Austen's life, the uncompleted novel Sanditon, set in a newly established seaside resort, offers a glorious cast of hypochondriacs and speculators, and shows an author contemplating a the great social upheavals of the Industrial Revolution with a mixture of scepticism and amusement.
Margaret Drabble's introduction examines these three works in the context of Jane Austen's major novels and her life, and discusses the social background of her fiction. This edition features a new chronology.
Jane Austen (1775-1817) was extremely modest about her own genius but has become one of English literature's most famous women writers. Austen began writing at a young age, embarking on what is possibly her best-known work, Pride and Prejudice, at the age of 22. She was also the author of Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park.
If you enjoyed Lady Susan, The Watsons and Sanditon, you may like Charlotte Brontë's Tales of Angria, also available in Penguin Classics.
'In [Sanditon] she exploits her greatest gifts, her management of dialogue and her skill with monologue. The book feels open and modern ... as vigorous and inventive as her earlier work'
Carol Shields

.… (more)
Member:MarkWarner
Title:(Lady Susan / The Watsons / Sanditon)
Authors:Jane Austen (Author)
Info:Penguin Classics (1975), Edition: First Edition, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
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Lady Susan / The Watsons / Sanditon by Jane Austen (1871)

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» See also 167 mentions

English (33)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (35)
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
A long-time Austen fan, I'd long meant to read her unpublished (in her lifetime, anyway) works, but kept putting it off, not knowing what to expect. As it turns out, I enjoyed the experience even more than I'd hoped. Lady Susan is such a turn from Austen's morally upright and good hearted heroines, you never know if you are rooting for or against her, but it is FUN. The two unfinished works, The Watsons and Sanditon have that bittersweet tang of wishing you could know what Austen would have ultimately done with them, but I thoroughly enjoyed getting to glimpse them just the same. ( )
  greeniezona | Dec 3, 2023 |
Lady Susan: I thought this epistolary novella was brilliantly done, considering its length. Austen did a great job at depicting the characters in just letters, and the drama was interesting and kept me turning the pages. This one was probably my favorite of the three.

The Watsons: This one was meh. I know it was incomplete, but it reminded me of a combination of Mansfield Park and Emma which are my two least favorite complete novels. Not very memorable.

Sanditon: I was shocked at how underdeveloped this story was. I knew it was incomplete, but I didn’t realize it was that incomplete. I had watched the show before reading it, and I think the show was well down considering how little they had to work with. I definitely think I would’ve liked Sanditon more if it has been complete, and if the romance had been able to play out completely.

And hence completes my reading of Austen’s works. This took over a year, but it was definitely worth it. I had a great time, and I found some new favorite books along the way. ( )
  TimeLord10SPW | Jun 29, 2023 |
I read Lady Susan five years ago, and I finally read Sanditon this time. Because I plan on checking out the Masterpiece television drama based on Austen's last novel, I wanted to read the batch of chapters she finished before she died.

I also wanted to get a glimpse of Miss Lambe, the only Black/mixed race character Austen ever created. ( )
  NadineC.Keels | Oct 18, 2021 |
Lady Susan is a treat, with a deliciously wicked title character; it's slightly trashy and catty as hell and I really can't recommend it enough.

The Watsons is an abandoned novel of an impoverished woman of respectable family trying to find a suitable match; it's little more than a sketch and most of what's there looks like it would become parts of Austen's major novels. The unfinished Sanditon is a satirical look at a seaside resort and is much more polished than the other two works; it has the seeds of what could have been a masterpiece. ( )
  amanda4242 | Apr 5, 2020 |
Lady Susan, The Watson’s, Sanditon is an omnibus volume of Jane Austen’s earlier works. She is much more cutting here than in her later, better-known volumes. Lady Susan is a complete beast of a woman: conniving, manipulative, and thoroughly selfish. She attempts to marry her daughter to a much older man, completely against the girl’s will, and tries to match herself up with a true catch. This being Austen, all does end well; the rather mean delight is in seeing Lady Susan fail.

The Watsons is the weakest of the three stories here. Emma Watson has to return to her father’s home after living with a wealthy aunt. The story is unfinished, so we can appreciate Emma’s chagrin at the behavior of her siblings, but that’s all.

Sanditon is full of delicious characters. Lady Denham, in particular, stands out as an unbelievably vain woman who has to be the most important person at all times. The thin plot involves the development of a seaside resort. Although Austen didn’t live to finish the book, it’s clear that this would have been a lighthearted look at the foibles of those attempting to be just a bit more significant than they really are.
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1 vote Matke | Oct 31, 2019 |
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jane Austenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Drabble, MargaretEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drabble, MargaretIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaia, LindaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Lady Susan: My dear brother, I can no longer refuse myself the pleasure of profiting by your kind invitation when we last parted, of spending some weeks with you at Churchill, and therefore if quite convenient to you and Mrs. Vernon to receive me at present, I shall hope within a few days to be introduced to a sister whom I have so long desired to be acquainted with.
The Watsons: The first winter assembly in the town of D. in Surrey was to be held on Tuesday October the thirteenth, and it was generally expected to be a very good one; a long list of country families was confidently run over as sure of attending, and sanguine hopes were entertained that the Osbornes themselves would be there.
Sanditon: A gentleman and lady travelling from Tonbridge towards that part of the Sussex coast which lies between Hastings and Eastbourne, being induced by business to quit the high road, and attempt a very rough lane, were overturned in toiling up its long ascent half rock, half sand.
Quotations
'Who can endure a cabbage patch in October?'
'But you know,' (still looking back) 'one loves to look at an old friend, at a place where one has been happy.'
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Canonical DDC/MDS
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Classic Literature. Fiction. Short Stories. HTML:

Collecting three lesser-known works by one of the nineteenth century's greatest authors, Jane Austen's Lady Susan, The Watsons and Sanditon is edited with an introduction by Margaret Drabble in Penguin Classics.
These three short works show Austen experimenting with a variety of different literary styles, from melodrama to satire, and exploring a range of social classes and settings. The early epistolary novel Lady Susan depicts an unscrupulous coquette, toying with the affections of several men. In contrast, The Watsons is a delightful fragment, whose spirited heroine Emma Watson finds her marriage opportunities limited by poverty and pride. Written in the last months of Austen's life, the uncompleted novel Sanditon, set in a newly established seaside resort, offers a glorious cast of hypochondriacs and speculators, and shows an author contemplating a the great social upheavals of the Industrial Revolution with a mixture of scepticism and amusement.
Margaret Drabble's introduction examines these three works in the context of Jane Austen's major novels and her life, and discusses the social background of her fiction. This edition features a new chronology.
Jane Austen (1775-1817) was extremely modest about her own genius but has become one of English literature's most famous women writers. Austen began writing at a young age, embarking on what is possibly her best-known work, Pride and Prejudice, at the age of 22. She was also the author of Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park.
If you enjoyed Lady Susan, The Watsons and Sanditon, you may like Charlotte Brontë's Tales of Angria, also available in Penguin Classics.
'In [Sanditon] she exploits her greatest gifts, her management of dialogue and her skill with monologue. The book feels open and modern ... as vigorous and inventive as her earlier work'
Carol Shields

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