The Watsons

The Watsons

infobox Book |
name = The Watsons
title_orig =
translator =

image_caption =
author = Jane Austen
illustrator =
cover_artist =
country = United Kingdom
language = English
series =
genre = Novel
publisher =
release_date =
english_release_date =
media_type = Print (Hardback & Paperback)
pages =
isbn = NA
preceded_by =
followed_by =

"The Watsons" is an incomplete novel by Jane Austen. She began writing it c.1803 and probably abandoned it after her father's death in January 1805. It has five chapters, and is less than 18,000 words long.

Plot summary

Mr Watson is a widowed clergyman with two sons and four daughters. The youngest daughter, Emma, has been brought up by a wealthy aunt and is consequently better educated and more refined than her sisters. But when her aunt contracts a foolish second marriage, Emma is obliged to return to her father's house. There she is chagrined by the crude and reckless husband-hunting of two of her twenty-something sisters. She finds the kindness of her eldest and most responsible sister, Elizabeth, more attractive.

Living near the Watsons are the Osbornes, a great titled family. Emma attracts some notice from the boorish and awkward young Lord Osborne, while one of her sisters plaintively pursues Lord Osborne's arrogant, social-climbing friend, Tom Musgrave. Various minor characters provide potential matches for Emma's brothers and sisters.

Mr Watson is seriously ill in the opening chapters, and Austen confided in her sister Cassandra that he was to die in the course of the work. Emma was to decline a marriage proposal from Lord Osborne, and was eventually to marry Osborne's virtuous former tutor, Mr Howard.


Several attempts have been made to finish the novel.

Austen's niece, Catherine Hubback, completed "The Watsons" and published it under the title "The Younger Sister" in the mid-nineteenth century.

John Coates also published a completion in 1957.

One recent version was written under the pen name of "Another Lady".

Laura Wade is adapting the text for the stage.

"The Watsons by Jane Austen and Another Lady" by Helen Baker is a completion published in 2008.

Further reading

*cite book | title="Jane Austen: A Life | last=Tomalin | first=Claire | publisher=Vintage | location=New York | date=1997

External links

* [ Jane Austen Information Page]

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