left and center: Reading corner of Anne's living room. right: cover Sanditon by Jane Austen

image: left and center: Reading corner of Anne's living room. right: Penguin Classics cover Sanditon by Jane Austen

|| 9 July 2017

Jane Austen's Sanditon

The one corner of my repainted living room for which I have not previously posted photos is the reading corner. You can see it above with my great aunt’s tapestry chair and little shelf of some of my most treasured books.

I think this corner with its chair and reading lamp and table for my tea tray the perfect spot in which to re-read the Jane Austen novels. Something I do every several years. On the nearest end of the top shelf you can see my Jane Austen book of her novels there between my two volume set of Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu to the right, and the complete works of Shakespeare on the left.

And though, in addition to re-reading Jane Austen’s novels numerous times, I have also read her epistolary novel Lady Susan — and the juvenilia, an exercise that convinced me that writing skill is something honed over time. (Jane Austen’s early writing does not exactly evidence great promise.) In any case, I had never read Sanditon, that fragment of the novel that Jane Austen was writing at the time of her death, 200 years ago on 18 July 1817.

But yesterday I began Sanditon encouraged by an article by Anthony Lane in The New Yorker. If you are also interested in reading this last novel fragment, Sanditon can be downloaded free from archive.org. Printed copies of Sanditon are available in various editions from a variety of booksellers. The Penguin Classics edition of Sanditon is edited by Margaret Drabble and has an introduction by that author.

New Yorker article on Sanditon

Jane Austen’s Sanditon on archive.org

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