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Sanditon (Hesperus Classics) [Paperback]

Jane Austen , A. C. Grayling (foreword)
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Price: £6.40 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

25 Sep 2009 Hesperus Classics
Following a chance meeting with Mr and Mrs Parker, Charlotte Heywood accompanies them to their home in Sanditon, extravagantly vaunted by her excitable hosts as the future epicentre of society summers. On arrival, our heroine finds herself confronted with a very new and all but deserted town, which nevertheless, and with no small effort from her hosts, begins to fill with holidaymakers. Austen assembles a cast of characters of varying degrees of absurdity and sense, and sets about describing their relations with characteristic wryness and ingenuity. Though unfinished, this fragment demonstrates Austen's flair for observation and satire in the final stages of her life.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Hesperus Press Ltd; Reprint edition (25 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843911841
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843911845
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 12.2 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 748,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Author of the masterpieces Pride and Prejudice and Emma, Jane Austen (1775-1817) is one of the best-loved novelists of all time.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Paperback
On the 17th January, 1817 Jane Austen began work on a novel that is now known as SANDITON. It was never completed. Her declining health robbed her of what she dearly loved most, writing, and on the 18th of March 1817 after penning 22,000 words she wrote the last lines of chapter twelve and put down her pen. Four months later at age 41 she would succumb to what is generally believed to have been Addison's disease.

Set in the emerging seaside village of Sanditon on the Sussex coast we are introduced to a large cast of characters dominated by the two minions of the community: Mr. Parker a local landowner with grand designs of turning a fishing village into a fashionable watering place offering the therapeutic or curative benefits of sea-bathing and his partner Lady Denham, the local great lady who has "a shrewd eye & self satisfying air" and cares little about the community and only her pocketbook.

The story unfolds from the perspective of Charlotte Heywood, a young lady experiencing her first trip away from her family as a guest of Mr. and Mrs. Parker. Sanditon is populated by a comical ensemble of residents and visitors who upon Charlotte's first acquaintance are altogether different than they later appear. Lady Denham's nephew Sir Edward Denham is handsome, amiable and titled but is prone to long inflated speeches in the most pompous and affected style in an attempt to reinforce his own notion that he is a romantic character born to seduce women "quite in the line of Lovelaces." (Lovelace refers to the villain Robert Lovelace in Samuel Richardson's 1748 novel CLARISSA who rapes and ruins the young heroine.) He has designs upon Lady Denham's companion Clara Brereton who he shall either woo with affection or carry off.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good quality copy of a frustratingly unfinished, flawed work. 1 Mar 2010
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It's hard to know what to say about an unfinished draft of a novel... Was it interesting? Yes, in a way... Do I want to know how it ends? Yes, I think... Do I think the part that exists is good? Well, no not really. It's not Jane's best work. Or maybe it's just not like her other work. It seemed uneven--too rushed in some parts and too slow in others. Overall, there was not much character development - that is, we didn't learn who the characters are based on their dialogue and actions. Instead, we were mostly told what to think of them, either by the narrator or by Charlotte, the heroine. Charlotte has been sent, on only a very short acquaintance, to stay with the Parkers in an up-and-coming, soon-to-be fashionable seaside town called Sanditon for a fortnight or so. We are introduced to a varied, but not particularly interesting or memorable (yet) cast of characters over the first 12 chapters, which are all that exist of this last novel Austen was working on before her untimely death.

As for this Hesperus Classics edition, it is very nice. Printed on good paper in a easily readable font, it is better quality than I would have expected for a small, relatively unknown, unfinished novel. Bravo to them, as I have no idea when I would have gotten around to reading this without the incentive of a nice new, pure copy (as opposed to the one I have which another author completed). While I don't understand why there is a rooster on the (presumably final) cover, it is just fine by me and I like the cover flaps very much. You don't often see them on paperbacks, but they are very useful for holding notes, marking ones place, or just generally making the book stronger and more luxurious-looking than a regular old paperback. The Introduction was illuminating and the endnotes were few (only 5) but quite helpful. The intended audience is clearly those who are familiar with Austen and are "completists" of her work.

[...]
5.0 out of 5 stars A satirical look at 19th-century business speculation, hypocondria and novel reading 21 Mar 2010
By Laurel Ann - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
On the 27th January, 1817 Jane Austen began work on a novel that is now known as SANDITON. It was never completed. Her declining health robbed her of what she dearly loved most, writing, and on the 18th of March 1817 after penning 22,000 words she wrote the last lines of chapter twelve and put down her pen. Four months later at age 41 she would succumb to what is generally believed to have been Addison's disease.

Set in the emerging seaside village of Sanditon on the Sussex coast we are introduced to a large cast of characters dominated by the two minions of the community: Mr. Parker a local landowner with grand designs of turning a fishing village into a fashionable watering place offering the therapeutic or curative benefits of sea-bathing and his partner Lady Denham, the local great lady who has "a shrewd eye & self satisfying air" and cares little about the community and only her pocketbook.

The story unfolds from the perspective of Charlotte Heywood, a young lady experiencing her first trip away from her family as a guest of Mr. and Mrs. Parker. Sanditon is populated by a comical ensemble of residents and visitors who upon Charlotte's first acquaintance are altogether different than they later appear. Lady Denham's nephew Sir Edward Denham is handsome, amiable and titled but is prone to long inflated speeches in the most pompous and affected style in an attempt to reinforce his own notion that he is a romantic character born to seduce women "quite in the line of Lovelaces." (Lovelace refers to the villain Robert Lovelace in Samuel Richardson's 1748 novel CLARISSA who rapes and ruins the young heroine.) He has designs upon Lady Denham's companion Clara Brereton who he shall either woo with affection or carry off. Clara is a poor relation of Lady Denham's who is maneuvering to be her heir and in direct competition with Sir Edward for her favor.

Also sharing the spotlight is Mr. Parker and his four siblings, three of whom Charlotte is told are sad invalids, but after their arrival talk a great deal about their maladies but exhibit little consequence of their afflictions. Here we see Austen at her comedic height characterizing the foibles of those who attach illness as an identity and hypochondria as their religion. The one bright light of hope in the novel is Mr. Parker's brother Sidney who we know of only through letters and others descriptions. He may be the only character besides Charlotte who has the potential to set things in balance with his sense of humor and honest opinions. Sadly he is destined to remain the mystery hero of Austen's oeuvre. Add to that a lineup a nest of plot ironies to raise an eyebrow at business speculation and hypochondria, and a sharp jab at the effluvia of novels and poetry and you have a narrative that whizzes along until an abrupt halt just when we are hooked.

The uncompleted novel is a great loss to literature but also to the characters who after a bright and comical beginning are left with uncertain futures. What does remain is more than a novelty of Austenalia. SANDITON'S levity despite the author's failing health when it was written is quite remarkable. On first reading I thought it quite energetic and satirical, similar to the burlesque humor of Austen's NORTHANGER ABBEY. I then put it aside and did not reflect on it further. My second reading after several years brought an entirely new reaction. Austen has taken a new and fresh direction from her usual three or four families in a country village and sets her novel not about an individuals struggle but an entire community. Money is still the fuel that powers the plot, but her physical descriptions of the landscape and town are entirely new in her cannon foreshadowing what may have been an evolution in her style. SANDITON is a gem that no Austen enthusiast should miss.

Laurel Ann, Austenprose
4.0 out of 5 stars Sandition 5 Nov 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
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 entrepreneur, Tom Parker, starts up the story on a tour in search of a physician for his new community. Along the way (and due to a small injury) he must stop for help in a town - and lucky for him, the people are very welcoming and readily available for help. Mr. Parker and his wife, appreciating the warmth and kindness of these accidental hosts, as a gesture of appreciation, offer to take the daughter of Mr. Heywood (the main man who helped and hosted them) a Miss Charlotte Heywood, back with them as a guest in their home in Sandition.

Charlotte is the heroine of this story and everything is pretty much seen through her eyes. In Sandition we meet such colourful characters as the very rich, elderly and twice-widowed, Lady Denham; her niece and nephew by her second husband, her cousin Clara- a beautiful and demure young lady. But- the funniest of all characters are Mr. Parker's siblings who have endless ailments (all of them purel y made up). One of these, Diane (Parker's sister) is on a mission to `fill up' the town and in doing so, she is constantly busy and bustling around , leaving Charlotte to wonder if the illness isn't but an act.

Sadly (for me), the story ends abruptly with the arrival into Sandition, of the dashing Mr. Sidney, Parker's brother . I say sadly because I was just getting into it- just when the characters started coming together for the meshing of a story line...Sandition has got me wondering how this one could have turned out. The characters are delightful and true to Austen's originality and good sense of build up to a story that would surely have become another of her great masterpieces. It also saddens me to think that it was during this very year of writing Sandition that Jane Austen passed away.
3.0 out of 5 stars an interesting snippet 26 Feb 2011
By Richard Johnston - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the final work of Jane Austen. Unfortunately, she died before she completed it. The Sanditon fragment shows all the signs of being a masterpiece and while there are some "completions" available, what we have is interesting in its own right, despite the frustration of knowing that we have only a glimpse of a wonderful novel.
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