An Excursion to Sanditon: Jane Austen’s Feisty Farewell
This Talk with Readings, presented by members of Alton Fringe Theatre (AFT), will focus on Jane’s last novel, begun at Chawton late in January 1817 but abandoned incomplete on 18th March as her final illness worsened. Cut short by weakness of body rather than of creative imagination, Sanditon stands as the author’s remarkably courageous farewell to her art. Here the nature and significance of the work will be discussed by Professor Michael Biddiss, and further illuminated through a selection of extracts read by fellow-colleagues from AFT. Highlighting the follies associated with the development of a new Regency seaside resort, Sanditon remains among the liveliest of Jane’s creations with characters that include an over-enthusiastic entrepreneur, some untreatable hypochondriacs, and a penniless baronet whose attempts at heiress-seduction have been fuelled by too much exposure to ‘sentimental novels’!