Jane Austen: The Watsons

(1308 words)

Although written during Austens formative years and not published in her lifetime, this fragment of 17,500 words already displays clear signs of her later maturity of observation and realistic appraisal of contemporary realities. The Watsons was begun in 1804 (or just possibly in 1803) and was said by her sister Cassandra to have been abandoned on 27th January 1805 when Austen’s father died. Brian Southam speculates that the novel may have been abandoned because “the loss [of their father] and the reduced circumstances of the Austen household in Bath—Mrs. Austen now alone with her two unmarried daughters—were too painfully close to the fictional prospect of The Watsons.” {Southam 2007 p.…

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Schneider, Ana-Karina. "The Watsons". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 March 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8105, accessed 26 September 2016.]