Attention Austenites! Here is something you might not know…
23,000 words of a novel that has come to be known as ‘Sanditon‘ were left behind by Jane Austen in the months before her death, and it continues to cause controversy!
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The tale follows Mr. Parker and his attempts to turn the town of Sanditon into a popular bathing spot like Brighton, England, and to get the apparently generous Lady Denham to fund this. In true Austen fashion, the goings on are observed through the eyes of Charlotte, an unmarried outsider.
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In a letter written five days after she stopped working on “Sanditon,” Austen said that she felt “very poorly,” noting that “sickness is a dangerous indulgence at my time of life.” So it looks like the novel was abandoned by Austen because of her ill health and not because she didn’t intend to finish it.
Many attempts have been made by authors, both professional and internet-based, to complete the work, with disagreements arising over the tone and direction of the attempts. There are a number of published continuations of “Sanditon” in print, as well as the unfinished version.
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