Saturday, 31 January 2009


Jane Austen's juvenalia, unfinished work and extended pieces are just as enjoyable to read as the six great novels. My absolute favourite is Lady Susan but I'm fond of Sanditon, too, and its perceptive but quiet heroine, Charlotte Heywood.

Sanditon is full of references to Austen's own reading and contemporaries, Fanny Burney's Camilla, Walter Scott's Marmion and the poetry of William Cowper. It would be an interesting undertaking to read what Austen read. Sadly Sanditon was never finished but Austen's wit and humour is evident throughout:

- and the Miss Beaufort's were soon satisfied with the 'circle in which they moved in Sanditon' to use a proper phrase, for everybody must now 'move in a circle', to the prevalence of which rotatory motion, is perhaps to be attributed the giddiness and false steps of many.


Sarah said...

I've not yet read Sandition, although I have it and Austen's juvenile works in my TBR pile. I must get to it soon.

I read Fanny Burney's Evalina last tear and found it surprisingly good, a page turner with frank discussion of ideas of the time. The phrase Pride and Prejudice is actually taken from it.

claire said...

I'm coveting this now.. :)

Vintage Reading said...

Sarah, hi. I had no idea that the title for Pride and Prejudice came from a Burney novel. Thanks for that! Maybe I should read Evalina first.

Claire, I think you'll like Sanditon, but of course it is frustrating that it is not complete.

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

have always meant to read this and havent ...yet!