Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sanditon and Other Stories by Jane Austen (Part One)

Sanditon and Other Stories by Jane Austen is a collection of some of Austen’s later unfinished works along with some samples of her juvenilia and other miscellaneous pieces.  The reason I am writing this review in two parts is because I am reading the juvenilia first and the rest later, after I have read her published novels.

I have to say that, for the most part, I enjoyed the juvenilia.  One can easily see the wit and surprising ability to see what motivates her characters.  I found myself chuckling a few times and smiling at others.  I also found myself bored because, although one can find evidence of future brilliance, it is dulled by immaturity; Austen’s talents are not yet dazzling because she hasn’t honed her craft.  Many of the examples of her early writings are unfinished and this is mostly interesting either to hard-core Austen fans (aka Janeites) or writers who are curious to see a successful writer’s early scribblings.

I know I wouldn’t want my unfinished or immature writings exposed to the harsh light of the published page but I truly enjoyed the experience of peeking inside the early writings of this remarkable writer’s career.

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