It’s the time of year where summer is about to end and we scramble to enjoy our last moments before the return of cooler weather. Where will you be heading before then? Sanditon might offer the perfect getaway!

Sanditon by Jane Austen and “Another Lady”

Rated A

 

If you’re a self proclaimed Austenite, is it confounding why you’re not familiar with this book? Let me be of some consolation: you are so not alone! Why and how could this possibly be? Well let’s get into some juicy details:

Before Austen died in 1817, she had started on her newest novel. Unfortunately, she was only able to get eleven chapters into it before all work was stopped…indefinitely. They were at last published in 1925 with the title of Sanditon. Well, here the populace is with an unfinished work and (if I was there at the time) probably going stock mad.  So one anonymous author ultimately stepped up to the plate and completed it herself in 1975. (not all heroes wear capes, okay?)

The plot is like any other classic Jane Austen novel. Charlotte Heywood, like other Austen heroines, hasn’t been able to get out much. The farthest she’s ever ever been was to Bath (and that was only for one winter). When an invitation arose for her to visit Sanditon’s coast, who could refuse? Though she meets a host of fascinating people the mischievous Sydney Parker catches not only her attention but also her heart. Yet, is she too busy detesting him to realize her true feelings?

Besides the classic plot, there are a few exceptions to Sanditon being a normal Austen novel. First of all, the hero…well…he’s basically a Mr. Collins or John Willoughby. He’s essentially a manipulative liar, but that’s okay because he’s charming and doing it for the greater good. (I’m going “blek”, aren’t you?) Can you think of one Austen hero who was anything but virtuous? No! Characters such as Sydney Parker were condemned by the author not praised.

Secondly (and this was something my friend pointed out), Austen’t endings usually aren’t roller coaster rides but instead like neat little packages. The last five chapters in Sanditon were not so. But hey, I gotta admit, I did enjoy them. The end was surprisingly humorous and entertaining.

By the end of the novel, I had to ask myself, how would Austen have completed it? Did she intend a different suitor for Charlotte Heywood? Was Sydney Parker meant to be a decoy until the real hero showed up? Ah, so many questions and yet no answers. I guess we musts content ourselves with imagination.

If you’re looking for your own Sanditon getaway, book your spot here.

Or, if you’re looking for more information, you can always consult the almighty Wikipedia.

 

 

 

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