The Watsons
by L. Oulton
(out of print)
210 pages 1923
D. Appleton and Company

         Review by Linda Waldemar, February 4, 2001
I will start this review as I did the one by Edith and Francis Brown. As I read the that review, I was surprised at how close my opinion of this book is to that one.  However, the manner in which the characters arrive at the conclusion that we hear JA intended for them is not at all the same.  I am italicizing parts that I copied directly from the previous review.

This is a true completion.  The author does  not seem to change a word of Jane Austen's original fragment.  She/He (I cannot tell the author's gender)  does, however, divide it into 5 chapters.

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 characters all end as we have heard that JA intended them to.  I was quite pleased with the plot to get them there.  The lovers are kept apart by a misunderstanding but are finally united.  The language is good, but there is no wit.

My only complaint is that the entire completion  seemed extremely rushed.  I wish that the characters and the plot had been fleshed out.

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.  It can be very expensive (the first price that I saw for it was $895!) so unless you feel that you must own it (as I did although I did not pay anywhere near that much for it!), I do not recommend purchasing it.  The story alone is not worth more than an average used book would cost.

        Written by Kathleen Glancy (3/30/2007 8:52 a.m.)
That is quite an old completion. Where did you get it? I had to read it in a copyright library, being fortunate enough to live near one. IIRC, that is the one where the Osbornes and Mr Howard go to Italy? Which Jane Austen would never have done, to judge by her advice to her niece Anna that it was all right to send characters in the novel she (Anna) was writing to Ireland but not to go there with them, as she had never been there herself and would be in danger of making mistakes about the customs there. It was also very high-flown and melodramatic once it departed from Jane Austen's text, was it not? I seem to recall Miss OUlton played it safe by making both Lady and Miss Osborne fall in love with Mr Howard.