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The Watsons, Sanditon

Narrated by: Anna Bentinck
Length: 4 hrs and 29 mins
4 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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Editor reviews

Even Austen's unfinished novels will excite her fans. In the first of these novels, abandoned after five chapters, Emma Watson returns to her widowed father and crude siblings after being raised in refinement by a wealthy aunt. Austen died after completing 11 chapters of the second, about an attempt to build a state-of-the-art resort by the sea. Anna Bentinck narrates The Watsons in a languid, humorless, patrician style, sometimes pausing between every phrase. Her more robust treatment of Sandition delivers plenty of satirical humor and vivid characterizations. Indeed, her impersonations are the best part of both works.

Summary

One abandoned, one unfinished, these short works show Austen equally at home with romance (a widowed clergyman with four daughters must needs be in search of a husband or two in The Watsons) and with social change (a new, commercial seaside resort in Sanditon). Typically touching, funny, charming and sharp.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Beginnings

I love Jane Austen's completed work and just wanted to read everything there is. However, these are the products of a 'writer in training', of inferior quality compared to her later and completed work. And they are, indeed, just fragments! By the time you start understanding who the characters are and get to see the beginning of the plot, it's all over!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Greystones girl
  • 06-05-17

Just leaves you wanting more

Wonderful Austen fragments just a shame they were never finished ...nevertheless lovely insight to neoclassical life In England

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Debbi Ashby
  • 26-07-18

It’s Jane Austen

Everything she’s written is wonderful. It’s a shame these two novels were never completed before she died
Normally I like Anna’s narration but I found her male character voices annoying and not well developed. The female character voices were fine. I’d recommend Prunella Scales or Juliet Stephenson as a narrator for any and all of Jane Austen’s works. I believe Juliet has narrated all of Austen’s works and a couple of the Bronte novels

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • AB
  • 17-06-17

Fragments for Austen fans

The stories require some knowledge of Austen and context for the reader to fully appreciate them. The performer's reading style is best when reading the narrator's voice and one female character. The male voices all sound too young or too old, which makes it difficult to keep track of ages. Some female voices are read too slowly, which contributes to some awkwardness perhaps not intended my Austen.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • RueRue
  • 14-02-16

Unfulfilled potentail

I want more ! How I wish Jane Austen had completed these two delightful stories !

3 people found this helpful