The Watsons
by Jane Austen and Another
(out of print)
235 pages 1977
Book Club Associates
Peter Davies Ltd.    1977    ISBN  432 00751 2


        Review by Yvette, September 4, 1998
 This completion of The Watsons - the novel fragment left by Jane Austen - was careful to follow the ideas for the development of the plot left behind through Jane Austen's family.  This author chose to focus mainly on Emma's relationships with the members of  the Osborne entourage. As a result, the characters of most of her siblings are only briefly sketched. Margaret, one of Emma's elder sisters, is one of the only sisters with whom we become more closely acquainted. She is scheming, silly and absolutely desperate for a husband. Her antics almost reminded me of Lydia's (from Pride and Prejudice). Miss Osborne is quite a prominent character in this completion. She is one of Emma's good friends and we are provided with many glimpses into her private life.

Although the author used the basic ideas left by Jane Austen for the completion of The Watsons, I felt that she did not follow through on all the clues in the fragment. Characters that are mentioned in the fragment by Jane Austen (such as Mary Edwards - a family friend and Purvis - an old suitor of Emma's sister Elizabeth), are forgotten or granted just a quick mention in the last chapter. Even Sam and Penelope, two of Emma's siblings, play very peripheral roles. The ending of the novel was nice but a bit abrupt.

Overall, the completion was satisfying but not spectacular. The characters were interesting but not particularly memorable, and the story was pleasant. There is an interesting postscript at the end of The Watsons which discusses its development from Jane Austen's abandonment to its present completed state.


        Written by Mona (May 28, 2003 )
I started to read the fragment of JA's and found it to be an exceptionally interesting story, like any other JA book of course, that I just had to get the complete book knowing very well it was continued by 'another lady'. The best way to put it is, I was horrified at the result!           Immediately after the very first page I knew without a doubt where exactly JA stopped and the so called lady took up, it was bad and bad and really bad. The woman throughout the used expressions that are 20th century if not 21st, she killed the beauty of each character that JA had crafted, infact she painted such a poor picture of everything and everyone, how did she get past the publishers is amazing! It really hurt to see the way JA's beautiful fragment got treated coz honestly, the beginning, i.e. JA's part of the book is an awesome story that strongly leaves you wanting for more. 
        Written by Marchiori (May 28, 2003 )
Is this one by 'Another Lady' who sends Lord Osborne off to Spain for a bride? If I hadn't been affronted I would have laughed, she dipped right into a penny romance at that point.