I didn't follow closely, but...
Posted by Margie on June 23, 1998 at 01:13:26:
In response to well..., written by Kate on June 22, 1998 at 15:46:13
] As to why she never finished, there are different theories. It was around the time the family moved to Bath, and her father's death. Claire Tomalin thinks that she became depressed, and suffered from writer's block as a result of all the changes in her life. Others simply say she got too busy.
] Any one else know anything about this?
I didn't follow the discussion of the Watsons on Austen-L very closely, but I seem to remember some speculation that JA had started out with the Watsons being too poor to bring off a believable happy ending. I think another idea discussed was that maybe their situation was so like her own, that the story was too painful to write.
I don't find either of the theories extremely compelling. I think it was well within her artistry to let merit weigh more with a suitor than money ;^). Though, I'm looking at it from a perspective way outside of the times...perhaps they were too poor to make good marriages. Also, I don't get a great sense of pain from the first half of the fragment...no more than from the completed works. It seems in tune with the completed works that way ... that making a good marriage was a major concern to poor gentlewomen, but not always the principal concern. The presentation of people with wealth not necessarily being the most meritorious is very much in line with the other books.
The introduction to The Watsons in the Oxford Illustrated Jane Austen, Minor Works does imply that JA abandoned the story about the time of her father's death. Perhaps abandoned is too strong a word. Maybe when she was ready to write again, other works just interested her more, or seemed fresher, or more entertaining.
So I guess the answer to Kate's question is, no, I don't know anything about this!
- I was speculating on similarities Constanza 08:44:13 6/23/98 (3)
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