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Oxford’s Northanger Abbey, Lady Susan, The Watsons and Sanditon

If you buy any of this reissue of the Oxford editions of Austen, buy this. It alone makes available three precious texts by Austen not in print for a reasonable price anywhere else. No other recent edition of Austen’s writing does this. In one inexpensive annotated volume we have four novels by Jane Austen, three of which are today hard to find in such a format: Lady Susan & The Watsons first published in 1871, and Sanditon, first published in 1925 (!) are today only readily available otherwise in Chapman’s Minor Works, Volume VI (1954: rpt. with revisions London: Oxford UP, 1969), last printed in 1988 in hardcover. Its classical scholarly apparatus intimidates, and it lacks explanatory notes meant for the common reader. The original new Oxford set established by James Kinsley in 1971 followed a tradition stemming from the first posthumous publication of Northanger Abbey in 1818: Kinsley included Northanger Abbey and Persuasion in one volume, but as of 1980, Oxford printed Northanger Abbey with Lady Susan, The Watsons and Sanditon. Thus in one accessible volume the buyer obtains: Northanger Abbey, a novel first drafted 1793-94, written 1798-99, whose revisions (1803 as Susan and 1816 as Catherine) make it at once a palimpsest of Austen’s earliest work and interests, and a text which includes her latest and most sophisticatedly charming writing; Lady Susan, a brilliant, sexually-frank epistolary novel, the only one of Austen’s to focus on an amoral adulterous heroine, probably first written in 1793-94, around the time Austen

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