Books: Playin' Jane

SANDITON by JANE AUSTEN

and ANOTHER LADY 329 pages. Houghton Mifflin. $8.95.

In 1817, only a few months before she died of Addison's disease at the age of 42, Jane Austen managed to start a new novel but had to break off after 26,000 words. The result was a fragment that would tantalize posterity. Though it jangled with a bumptious satire reminiscent of Austen's youthful burlesques, it seemed to project something both ambitious and new. When it was finally published in 1925 under the title Sanditon—named for the seaside resort town of its setting—E.M. Forster saluted the prescient way the book portrayed...

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