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The Watsons: a Fragment [Unknown Binding]

Jane Austen
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Clarendon Press (1927)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001P8CEVO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Jane Austen was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction set among the gentry have earned her a place as one of the most widely read and most beloved writers in English literature.

Jane Austen was born in Steventon rectory on 16th December 1775. Her family later moved to Bath and then to Chawton in Hampshire. She wrote from a young age and Pride and Prejudice was begun when she was twenty-two years old. It was originally called First Impressions. It was initially rejected by the published she submitted it too and eventually published in 1813 after much revision.

All four of her novels - Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1815) published in her lifetime were published anonymously. Jane Austen died on 18th July 1817. Northanger Abbey and Persuasion (both 1817) were published posthumously.

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First Sentence
The first winter assembly in the town of D. in Surrey was to be held on Tuesday, October 13th and it was generally expected to be a very good one. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Watsons live 1 Jun 2005
Continues the story of unmarried sisters and changes of fortune begun by Austen. By retaining the period mood and the shrewd eye, Williams achieves a smooth transition towards a convincing end for this story.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and engaging! 27 Jun 2003
This is one of the two best Austen continuations I've read, the other being the Sanditon completion by Marie Dobbs.
The Watsons was a fragment written by Austen in her younger days, and abandoned after several chapters. It tells the story of Emma Watson (which Coates changes to Emily, to distinguish from Austen's famous Emma), a young girl who has lived with her aunt since she was 5 years old. Upon her aunt's re-marriage after her father's death and move to Ireland, she is obliged to return to her rather impoverished family, consisting of 3 sisters and 2 brothers, and an ailing father. Complications are added to the plot by the attentions bestowed on Emily by Lord Osborne, an awkward young man, and his tutor, the gentlemanlike Mr. Howard.
Coates' language is excellent, highly reminiscent of Austen's prose- a rare thing in Austen sequels. While he does not keep exactly true to the fragment, changing some characters such as Penelope, Emily's sister, his reasons for any changes he makes are plausible, and do not appear like an unnecessary change. Indeed, they are more like slight revisions than changes, to prevent the characters from resembling other Austen characters in her completed novels. Austen herself probably would have similarly revised the piece had she completed it.
Coates writes a good, plausible plot, and keeps true to Austen's sketch of the characters where he must, while changing or developing the characters where he can in a proficient manner. My only complaint is that while he re-creates Penelope to make her an appealing character, he then turns around and gives her center stage, neglecting Emily's relationship with Mr. Howard in favor of Penelope, and Emily's relation to Lord Osborne. Indeed, Coates himself is aware that he did not do Mr. Howard justice.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I laughed, I cried, but I couldn't put it down! 26 Jan 2000
By A Customer
I have read many versions of The Watson's and this is by far the best! What an uncanny sense of humour! I would never have thought it was written by a is completely within Jane Austen's style!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The watsons 7 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a great jane Austen fan and have read all her novels and have just recently come across her unfinished works, I read the unfinished the Watson's first then searched for finished novels, I have thoroughly enjoyed this novel.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful 10 Mar 2006
By A Customer
I´ve never written a review, but I HAD to review this book--it is just awesome. Like many Janeites, I wish she would have left us with many, many more novels than she did, and have been yearning for books that take off on or complete her work while emulating her style. There are plenty of books out there attempting this, but I have found most of them disappointing. Well, not this one. As another reviewer remarked, it is difficult to tell where Austen´s original manuscript ends and the new material starts--the author has done a magnificent job adopting both Austen´s language and her style of setting and advancing plot, her ability to sketch character, her subtle humour, etc. I just loved this book, and only wished it would have been three times as long (as it was, I read it in one sitting). Highly, highly recommended!!
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