By the Seaside with Sanditon: Event Wrap-up

All that had the appearance of incongruity in the reports of the two might very fairly be placed to the account of the vanity, the ignorance or the blunders of the many engaged in the cause by the vigilance and caution of Miss Diana Parker. The Narrator, Ch 10 

There was so much incongruity in Sanditon that I thought that this quote was a great way to wrap up the ‘By the Seaside with Sanditon’ event. I loved how Austen played off the dichotomy of old vs. modern English lifestyle, tradition vs. progress, health vs. illness, romantic vs. anti-romantic and many other themes – all with a bit more vehemence and sarcasm than I have read before. What I will remember most about reading Sanditon again after many years is that my impression of it today is much different than on first reflection. Like the heroine Charlotte Heywood’s reaction to the people in Sanditon, my observations of Austen’s plot, characters and theme have changed upon further acquaintance. Moreover, Sidney Parker will remain Austen’s most mysterious hero, forever a possibility of love etched in my mind. The perfect gentleman of fiction that we all dream about, but could not possibly find in real life. (well maybe) 

Sidney Parker was about seven or eight and twenty, very good-looking, with a decided air of ease and fashion and a lively countenance. The Narrator, Ch 11 

This is my fourth novel event here at Austenprose, and this time out I had some help from great guest bloggers who added their expertise and humor to entertain us. A big thank you to Julie, of Austenonly for her incredible knowledge of Regency and Georgian era history. Her posts on seaside resorts was so thorough I felt like a dip in the sea myself and her report on the medicinal benefits of sea bathing made me want to stay on the shore and out of the cold water. We also got a look at samphire and a good argument in favor of  Worthing as Jane Austen’s inspiration for her town of Sanditon. Mandy N. did a fabulous job with her lovely ‘Regency Runway’ show of seaside fashions. I want blue shoes and a parasol to match please. And of course, my thanks to all who read along and commented on the group read and other posts. It was a swell party! 

There are still seven giveaway contests running through Friday, March 26, 2010. Don’t forget to leave a comment to enter your chance for your name to be drawn. Winners will be announced on Saturday, March 27, 2010. Good luck to all. 

Many thanks again to all. I love doing these events because I can share Austen in a condensed period and hopefully convert a few more readers to my favorite author. I had fun, hope you did too. Next event will be the imposing Pride and Prejudice in June. Oh, shall the Shades of Pemberley be thus polluted? 

Laurel Ann


17 thoughts on “By the Seaside with Sanditon: Event Wrap-up

  1. Thank you so very much, Laurel Ann. I looked forward to reading the posts and comments each day. Sign me up for polluting Pemberly!


  2. Laurel Ann, just adding my thanks! I still have a few posts to catch up on (and several chapters of Sanditon left to re-read!), but I truly appreciate all the work you put into making this such a fun and informative event. And you know there’s no way I’d miss P&P with you this summer. :-)


  3. A lovely summary of themes of Sanditon; so much to ponder in JA’s last, novel fragment. Sidney just makes it to Sanditon but we never meet the two friends he mentions…and finally, Lady Denham’s own joke on the dead- poor Mr Hollis.
    Thanks again, Laurel Ann and looking forward to your next group read. :-)


  4. Ooh… a rendezvous with Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy! Count me in, but I will steer clear of Lady C, if you please. =)


  5. Thank you LA for hosting yet another wonderful memory with my bloggy Austen friends! It was fabulous and I always LEARN so much – I lurve it!

    Looking forward to June! Fun, fun, fun!


  6. While reading this blog a few days ago , my eye strayed to a bookshelf on my left in my guest bedroom/library/computer room and I suddenly aware of my copy of “Sanditon,” purchased when I was in grad school in 1975, at 24. I had been since high school an Austen “purist” and, though greatful to “another lady” for completing the novel, I was at that point unimpressed.
    But I took the book off the shelf and re-read it. And quite enjoyed it, to my surprise. Granted there are one or two anachronistic phrases and some character development that one doesn’t think Jane would have done, but it was a satisfying read.
    I remember at the time my friend Elspeth was working as a junior proofreader at houghton Mifflin who published “Sanditon.” Despite my exhortations to her to find out who “Another Lady” was, everyone’s lips were sealed at HM. I remember at the time there was some speculation that the book might have been completed by Jane Aiken Hodge, biographer of Austen and some years later of Heyer, but that seemed unlikely then and now. I gather that it is believed to have been an Australian novelist, but who really knows.In the early 80s at a second-hand bookshop in Oxford I purchased the 1949 “Pemberley Shades” by D. Bonavia-Hunt, which I believe was the first Austen “sequel.” Not a bad read; certainly better than the spate of books in the last 20 years which purport to continue the stories of The Misses Bennet, Woodhouse, Dashwood et al.


  7. Pingback: Austen's Sanditon: A New Period Drama • Willow and Thatch

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