The Watsons
by Edith and Francis Brown
(out of print)
183 pages 1928
Elkin Mathews & Marrot Ltd. London, W,C,


        Review by Lynn Lamy, September 16, 1997
This was lovely.  Absolutely lovely.  The language was good, the characters were good, she
doesn't really add any characters and the JA ones she used all acted pretty much the way you
would expect them to.   Lord Osborne is a bit of a dullard, but perhaps that's how JA intended
him to be.  I like Mr. Howard immensely and loved some of the scenes when Elizabeth and
Emma get snow bound at Mr. Howard and Mrs. Blakes' house.  I just thought this book was
lovely.  The ending was quick,
but this is something we've said about JA's books anyway, so it didn't really surprise me.


        Review by Linda Waldemar, May 12, 1998
This is a true completion.  The authors do not seem to change a word of Jane Austen's original
fragment.  They do, however, divide it into 10 chapters.

In the Preface, Edith Hubback Brown says that she found a manuscript written by Catherine
Austen Hubback, her grandmother and JA's niece.  Apparently this manuscript, called The
Younger Sister, was written from the memory of conversations with her Aunt Cassandra Austen.
Edith Brown uses her grandmother's story as the basis for this completion.  Thus the claim that it
is completed according to JA's intentions.  Those few statements that we have read of the fates of
the characters as told by Jane Austen's sister are faithfully presented here.  I do not feel that the
character development is very deep.  Those characters that JA developed fairly completely are
not changed.  And, we do not learn a great deal more about those that she merely introduced.

All that said, I think that this story is quite a pleasant read  The lovers are kept apart by a
misunderstanding but are finally united.  The authors did a pretty good job of imitating JA's
language; there is even a bit of wit.

My only complaint is that the ending seemed extremely rushed.  When I was within 3 pages of
the end, I was sure that there was not enough time to wrap up everything.  But, they did it!  And
quite satisfactorily.

This book is extremely hard to find, but should you run across it, I recommend that you give it a
read.  I do not think that you will be sorry.



        Written by Martti Alatalo (3/26/2001 12:50 p.m.)
A further recommendation  is "The Watsons, continued & completed by Edith (her great grand niece) & Francis Brown, in accordance with her intentions". It contains a continuation along the lines JA told her sister Cassandra, who kept the story running among her nieces - and the authors grandmother, Mrs Hubback, was one of them.