• Austen Among the Fragments: Understanding the Fate of Sanditon (1817)

    Author(s):
    Emily Friedman (see profile)
    Editor(s):
    Jennie Batchelor
    Date:
    2013
    Subject(s):
    18th-century British literature, 18th-century novel, Jane Austen, Women in the 18th century, Women writers
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    fragment, Mary Brunton, Sanditon
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/qr8n-sv76
    Abstract:
    Jane Austen's Sanditon (begun 1807) is something of a mystery for Austen scholars. Since its first description in 1871 and its publication in 1925, Austen's incomplete final novel fragment has inspired innumerable essays speculating about Austen's intentions and plans, and countless continuations that attempt to provide a plot on top of Austen's foundation. This essay tackles a different question: Why did Sanditon not see print for 108 years? Austen's fragmentary final novel needs reconsideration within the context of the other, published fragments of the period. Mary Brunton's posthumous fragment Emmeline (1819) is considered here as the fragment that is most closely contextually related to Austen's. Emmeline illustrates an alternate potential for the fate of Sanditon, one as tied up in technique as in contemporary fame and literary executors. Through Emmeline's example, it is possible to imagine an alternate history for Sanditon in the 1810s, one that gives a better sense of the literary marketplace for the fragment.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    12 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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