'She has poured forth her tender tale of love in vain and
exposed herself forever to the contempt of the whole world'
These three short works show Jane Austen experimenting with a
variety of different literary styles, from melodrama to satire, and
exploring a range of social classes and settings. The early
epistolary novel Lady Susan depicts an unscrupulous
coquette, toying with the affections of several men. In contrast,
The Watsons is a delightful fragment, whose spirited
heroine Emma Watson finds her marriage opportunities restricted by
poverty and pride. Written in the last months of her life,
the uncompleted novel Sanditon is set in a newly
established seaside resort, with a glorious cast of hypochondriacs
and speculators and shows the author contemplating a changing
society with a mixture of scepticism and amusement.
Margaret Drabble' introduction examines these three works
in the context of Jane Austen's major novels and her life, and
discusses the social background of her fiction. This edition
features a new chronology.