Sanditon (A Fragment of a Novel) by Jane Austen

As a huge fan of Sanditon Season 1, which originally aired on British ITV and eventually making it to PBS Masterpiece in 2019, I was thrilled to see that the cliffhanger of Season 1 would be rectified by Seasons 2 and 3.

Most viewers know, that Theo James who played Sidney Parker (also termed as the “last Austen hero”) decided not to return to the role. Whatever the conversations were behind the scenes, it was decided not to recast. As many fans bemoaned this occurrence, the producers and writers gave fans two more seasons with two more love interests for Charlotte, the heroine. How will they continue Jane Austen’s “fragment of a novel” is yet to be seen, but I have high hopes.

In anticipation of the Season 2 to be aired on March 20, 2022, I purchased Sanditon as written by Jane Austen to compare the original. Jane only finished twelve chapters in this small ninety-nine page paperback I ordered. Upon reading her last words, I was sadden by the reality of her death and how cheated her fans have been never to have known any future novels she might have written.

I also ordered Lucy Worley’s book, Jane Austen at Home. It’s a fabulous read if you want to know more about Jane’s life, her family, inspiration for her books, and where she lived. It also includes many insights into her many short-lived opportunities for matrimony with various men that did not lead to proposals, except for one which she woke up the next morning and broke. Tom Lefroy wasn’t her only love, as Hollywood would have you believe. She even encountered a man while visiting an English coastal town, much like Sanditon, who she formed affections for and he her. Unfortunately, it turned into nothing as they parted ways, and she later read he had married another. I wonder, however, had she married and born children, would she have had the time to write all the classics we now hold dear?

What did I think of Sanditon by Jane Austen? Much of it is what I term “chatty” conversation between characters, as they are introduced into the story line. It’s basically foundational with little idea of the plot, which was picked up by Andrew Davies the screenwriter who continued the unfinished novel, making it into a miniseries. As most know, it ended on a dastardly cliffhanger with Charlotte Heyword and her almost intended Sidney Parker never marrying as he sacrificed his happiness to save his brother from his incompetence. When ITV decided not to renew, the fans raised hell and launched a successful campaign to save the show. BritBoxUK and Masterpiece PBS picked it up. They have finished filming Season 2 and are currently filming Season 3. Just yesterday, they released the first promo pictures, one of which is above, that excited fans worldwide into a frenzy.

To read more, follow the link to Masterpiece and feast your eyes on what is to come. Frankly, I believe Jane Austen is leaping for joy in heaven, and not rolling over in her grave as some naysayers have insinuated. It’s a joyful, respectful, and professional tribute to her enduring stories and the book she was unable to completed.

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