Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sanditon
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Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sanditon

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3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  3,253 ratings  ·  229 reviews
'She has poured forth her tender tale of love in vain, and exposed herself forever to the contempt of the whole world'

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 wit...more
Paperback, 211 pages
Published March 30th 1975 by Penguin Classics (first published 1871)
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Community Reviews

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·Karen·
Remarkable that the grease stained pages found down the back of the sofa or stuffed into a drawer or still on the desktop when Jane Austen died should be so entrancing 200 years later. And Margaret Drabble's intro is judicious and knowledgeable.

I have now read almost (but not quite) everything that JA wrote; her Juvenilia would make me a 'completist'. Horrible word. It sounds like some Orwellian newspeak term for someone who goes round co-ercing people into committing suicide.

She may well have b...more
Simona Bartolotta
"C'è qualcosa di piacevole nei sentimenti che si lasciano manovrare tanto facilmente. Non che abbia invidia, né vorrei, per nulla al mondo, averne di simili, ma si dimostrano utili quando si desidera influenzare le passioni di un altro."

Oh, Jane, immensa, incredibile, dolcissima Jane: no so cosa darei per avere un altro tuo romanzo, o per poter rileggere tutti i tuoi romanzi per la prima volta. Cosa darei, seriamente, non lo so, perché la ricompensa non sarebbe in alcun modo quantificabile.

Non...more
Irene
Jun 21, 2012 Irene rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Only the most ardent of Jane Austen fans
Recommended to Irene by: Shan
Shelves: fiction
Three unfinished stories are included in this collection ("Lady Susan," "The Watsons," and "Sanditon"), plus a lot of additional reading under the titles of "Introduction," "Social Background," "A Note on the Text," "Notes," and "Chronology."

Despite being called the "Introduction," I think that chapter might actually be best read after having finished each of the stories. It certainly sheds light on story lines and characters, but it's hard to follow without knowing who or what is being discusse...more
Lucy
Sandition, by Jane Austen

Uncompleted, Sandition was the last of Jane Austen’s work.

Another delightful short read by Austen. I can’t say enough about how much I revel in these brief , yet brilliant works. Sandition brought me the light read and humour I desperately needed after the meatier books I last dove into.


Sandition, is the name of a new beach resort village in its coming of age. Because it is a relatively unknown area in need of new residents, travelers and reputable people-the then local...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
May 23, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Jane Austen Fans
This definitely shouldn't be your introduction to Jane Austen, and imagine it would only be picked up by avid fans like myself having read and reread her six mature completed novels and hungry for more. Lady Susan, which feels truncated, is a very early epistolary novel, and The Watsons was abandoned and Sandition left incomplete upon Austen's death. (And incidentally, if you have the version with an introduction with Margaret Drabble, you might want to read it aftewards--she gives too much away...more
Kim
Feb 09, 2012 Kim rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: classic
This is the first I have ever heard of these three writings of Jane Austen. I have been a fan of her writings for many years and I was surprised to find other stories that I have read. Lady Susan was a very curious book, I guess one calls it an epistolary novel, but it was quite different than other writings by Jane Austen. I was deeply captured by The Watsons, I would have been delighted even more if it had been a complete novel. I would have loved to see the end results of such a story that ha...more
Piperitapitta
Lady Susan *****
[inizio lettura 11/04/2013 - fine lettura 12/04/2013]

Perfida e adorabile Jane Austen che con Lady Susan dà vita alla più manipolatrice tra le donne riuscendo persino nell'impresa di fartela amare e fare il tifo per lei e per i suoi matrimoni: quelli che s'hanno da fare quelli che non s'hanno da fare, senza riuscire a capire, fino alla fine, quali siano gli uni e quali gli altri.
Il tutto attraverso uno scambio epistolare incrociato.
Trisha
LADY SUSAN
I haven't ever read a novel in this style before, at least of the 18th century classics, so it was a new experience for me. It was certainly a fun read, with me always wondering what would happen next and what the real truth was. I loved how it ended, with Lady Susan having the last laugh, in a sense anyway. And I can say for certain that Lady Susan is the naughtiest Austen leading lady I've encountered to date. :)

THE WATSONS
This is probably the one I really wish had been finished, 'ca...more
Susan
This is my current favorite-to-talk-about book, and I wish wish wish that more people read it so it would come up more frequently in conversations. Considering that Austen has six completed novels and this volume has only one completed epistolary novel and two novel fragments, I doubt many readers will cross paths with it. It's arguable that Austen herself would not have wanted people reading these works salvaged from her notes and papers, but they are a pleasure. It's extremely hard to approach...more
Geoff
Dec 15, 2010 Geoff added it
I love Jane Austen. There’s something about knowing her history and the time period in which she was writing that just makes her that much greater. She was so far ahead of her time and wrote about issues that are still pertinent today, if not in the exact manner.

I thought each of these three novels were unique and amazing in their own way. Lady Susan was the first and it was a bit difficult to get into but ultimately turned out to be brilliant. Jane Austen wrote it in the epistolary style, simil...more
 Gigi Ann
Aug 10, 2012 Gigi Ann rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Gigi Ann by: Jane Austen Fans
Jane Austen's The Watsons (1871) was written around 1803-1805. It presents the story of Emma Watson's return to her family after a long time away. Facing severe financial problems, the only hope for this family of four daughters and an invalid father is to get the girls married before their father's death. Though Austen did not complete this work, the fragment includes a segment by her nephew commenting on how she intended to finish the novel.

There are a few books that some authors have taken th...more
Wayne
Feb 21, 2009 Wayne rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All Austen Fans

There is a certain melancholy attached to reading some of this volume. I refer naturally to "Sanditon", which holds such promise and a new direction for Jane Austen's writing.
Of course when some well-intentioned fan decides to complete the work, it only serves to rub salt into the wound!!!

"Lady Susan" was a shock back in 1979.
(I was in England and reading it when we visited Jane's last home at Chawton.)
I hadn't come across any of the Juvenilia before and wasn't mad about it.
But now, after some...more
Christopher H.
Lady Susan is a short epistolary novella written by Jane Austen. What intrigued me is that Lady Susan really is the most morally bankrupt (maybe 'amoral' is better?) of any of Austen heroines (and I use the term 'heroine' loosely here). She will think, say and do anything to achieve her means. This novella, presented as series of letters, was written by the young Jane Austen, and first published long after her death. One surmises that she probably did not intend for it to see the light of day in...more
Deborah Markus
I own editions of these works, but this particular collection is worth having for a reason that will make me sound like a wimp: the two unfinished novels, "The Watsons" and "Sanditon," are finally, blessedly broken up into paragraphs. They only exist in draft form, and previous editors have simply presented the block text Austen left behind. Call me a wuss: I can't read a 30-page paragraph comfortably. Margaret Drabble sympathized with this sentiment and did the work to make these important work...more
Annette
Lady Susan is an epistolary. Epistolary was a popular way of writing a novel during the 18th century. It is written in the form of a letter or letters.
Jane began writing Lady Susan in 1793 or 1794, it was published in 1871 posthumously by her nephew J. E. Austen-Leigh.
Lady Susan is a wealthy widow in her late thirties. She has a daughter named Frederica that is approaching an age where she will be marriageable. Lady Susan is a gossip, flirtatious, calculating, devious, deceitful, a plotter, arro...more
Serena
Sanditon, another unfinished novel and the last that she was working on before her death, by Jane Austen begins with the Parkers in search of a surgeon to bring back to the seaside town of Sanditon from Willingden to care for the sick tourists and travelers seeking the medicinal attributes of the small town. Unfortunately, the Parkers’ carriage runs into rough roads in a different Willingden without a physician and it overturns. Mr. Parker ends up with a sprained ankle and the adventure begins.

M...more
Luu
Lady Susan * * * *
Prvý román v listoch, ktorý som čítala (škoda, že pred dvoma týždňami som si na skúške nevedela na žiaden spomenúť). Hlavné postavy sú dve švagriné, ktoré sú naoko jedna k druhej ako med, ale zároveň obe vypisujú listy, kde jedna druhú ohovárajú :) Po počiatočnom zmätku kto-čo-kde sa to číta veľmi dobre, pokrytectvo všetkých hrdinov je zábavné (no, viete, ako to myslím) a mne sa to páčilo viac, ako som čakala.

Watsonovci * * *
Emma Watsonová (che!) sa prvý krát zúčastní na veľkom...more
Sol  Gonzalez
Leí esta novela acuciada por la necesidad de tener un contexto antes de que se siguiera desarrollando la trama en la adaptación a youtube que se está llevando a cabo de la última de las tres novelas: Sanditon. Y posiblemente Sanditon sea la que menos me agradó de las tres.

Lady Susan
Esta pequeña obra ya la había leído anteriormente y aunque me parecio deliciosa, no fue impresionante. La obra escrita en un modo epistolar narra las argucias de Lady Susan para hacer casar a su hija con un importante...more
Carina Mcdonagh
This book of Jane Austen short stories was a bit of a mixed bag. 'Lady Susan' is interesting because it is more experimental due to the fact that it is both written in the form of letter entries and the main character is not one of Austen's usual heroines.

My favourite of the stories was 'The Watsons', an unfinished novel, it's written very much in the style of 'Pride and Prejudice' and if finished would have been a magnificent addition to her six completed novels.

I did not enjoy 'The Sanditons'...more
Kristin
It's so sad that these stories end so abruptly...especially Sanditon, as she was working on it close to the time of her death. I loved The Watsons. The characters and situations were intriguing, and it was very readable! I liked Sanditon, mostly because of the hypochondriac Parker siblings. :) Lady Susan was also interesting, but my least favorite of the three. I still enjoyed reading it, though Lady Susan is an awful character.

Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors. I don't know what took m...more
Leslie
Even though I prepared myself to find great pleasure in this last bit of Jane Austen EVER, I found I was shocked at the abrupt ending and disappointed. No more than one teaspoon of chocolate icecream could ever do more than tantalize, one small taste of Jane Austen can do nothing more than disappoint. Mind you, I wasn't disappointed in the work, I wanted it to go on forever. I cared about the characters and felt such a secret sort of pleasure to be reading something that might have stayed in pri...more
Silvia
I romanzi di Jane sono il mio orgoglio e il mio vanto di lettrice. Tra i 15 e i 20 anni ho letto tutto quello che la Austen ha scritto, tutto rigorosamente in inglese. Ho cominciato con "Pride and Prejudice" e, una volta esauriti i sei romanzi canonici, sono passata agli scritti giovanili e a questo libro, che contiene "Lady Susan", romanzo epistolare portato a termine, e due frammenti di romanzi. "The Watsons" fu volontariamente abbandonato da Jane (che però lasciò detto come la storia sarebbe...more
Sherri Rabinowitz
I have been a Jane Austen fan for a very long time. I have always wanted to read all her works, and with this book I have now read all of her works including her letters.

Her first novel Lady Susan, is very different, unlike Emma who has many redeeming and lovable qualities, Lady Susan really has none. She is a complete villain, the charming but evil influence over younger and innocent hearts. She reminds me of Mr. Wickham in Pride and Prejudice. It is a fun and charming book. I really enjoyed i...more
Audra
It's difficult for me to judge this collection too harshly because two of the novels are unfinished and all three were published without Austen's permission (since she was dead at the time). However, I still must give it four stars rather than five, even making allowances for the reasons these novels are unfinished, simply because they aren't finished and the one that is finished (Lady Susan) is not especially satisfying. The slapdash ending tacked on gave me the impression that Austen herself g...more
Erik Delgadillo
Muy buenas historias y bastante bien para empezar con Jane Austen. Me hubiera gustado saber cómo termina Los Watson y Sandition pero lo que alcanzó a escribir fue muy bueno; Lady Susan es muy buena historia y diferente a lo que había leído, me gustó mucho.
bookinglibrarian
Oh, if only Jane Austen had finished The Watsons and Sanditon...but it's worth reading these two fragments, and the completed Lady Susan for an Austen fix.
Laura
It was fun to read about a vindictive main character in Lady Susan and the letter writing style made it even more intriguing.
Pikapaula
Makes me bitter and angry that JA didn't live to finish these and the other novels she had yet to set on paper.
Bethany
Lady Susan: I enjoyed the letter format of the narrative: I found that it moved the plot along very nicely and I enjoyed the frequent change of perspectives between characters, which was a good fit for a story about a master manipulator, who from her perspective expresses no doubt that she is in the right. I watched in fear as other characters' letters flip-flopped between wanting to protect Susan's daughter and then to believing that Susan was in the right.
The Watsons: a little hard to follow,...more
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1265
Jane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature, her realism and biting social commentary cementing her historical importance among scholars and critics.

Austen lived her entire life as part of a close-knit family located on the lower fr...more
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