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
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
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.