Transcription and Analysis of Jane Austen's Last Work, Sanditon with Joel Brattin

Author: Sacco, Teran
Examines the manuscript Austen was writing at the time of her death in 1817, providing an easy-to-read printed transcription of that manuscript. It allows readers unfamiliar with Austen's hand access to the unique insights into her creative processes. The analysis following the transcription describes in detail all stages of Austen's revisions, including slips of the pen. There is also a comprehensive discussion of her style and her insight into human nature. The Sanditon manuscript is of extraordinary literary value because it is the largest existing specimen of an Austen original working draft.


“For anyone wanting to see Austen’s imagination working, this printed version of the fragment is a treasure – especially since no manuscripts of the complete novels survive. . . . In Chapman’s 1925 edition, Austen’s revisions appear following the transcribed text; Sacco’s more helpful format prints them within it. Seeing the changes where Austen made them gives a sense of her thinking, and the relationship of context to each deletion and addition. In addition, Sacco’s edition shows the manuscript pagination. The text is followed by 12 pages of commentary. Here Sacco asks some stimulating questions.. . . . Sacco’s questions also suggest possible patterns in the text. Her commentary calls attention to some representative changes and analyzes a few revisions.” - Jane Austen Society of North America Newsletter