Sanditon is an unfinished novel by Jane Austen, published after her death.
The story begins when Charlotte Heywood, a 22 year old daughter of a farmer, meets Mr Tom and Mrs Mary Parker when their carriage crashes on a hill in Willingden. Mr Parker's ankle sprains, so he and his wife stay with the Heywood family for a fortnight. During their stay, Charlotte learns that Mr Parker and his business partner, Lady Denham, are planning on making Sanditon, a small town, into a fashionable seaside resort. When Mr Parker's ankle is healed, he and Mrs Parker invite one girl to stay at Sanditon for the summer with them. Charlotte is chosen to go.
When she arrives at Sanditon, Charlotte meets some of the residents, including Lady Denham, Miss Brereton, Sir Edward Denham and Miss Denham. Lady Denham is described as the lady of the town ('every neighbourhood should have a great Lady'), and upon talking to her Charlotte finds her 'thoroughly mean'. Miss Clara Brereton is Lady Denham's poor relation and was taken in to stay at Sanditon House. She is described as 'elegantly tall, regularly handsome, with a great delicacy of complexion and soft blue eyes, [with] a sweetly modest and yet naturally graceful Address'. Sir Edward Denham and Miss Esther Denham are sister and brother, and Lady Denham believes they are both out to get her money. Sir Edward is silly and fairly handsome, and Miss Denham is aloof and cold.
Visitors come to Trafalgar House (where Tom and Mary Parker live): they are Diana Parker, Arthur Parker, and Susan Parker. In a letter Tom received earlier from Diana, they were described to have very awful sicknesses, but upon closer observation Charlotte finds that they are in well enough health, and she concludes that they must like to exaggerate. Diana's goal is to bring a family from the West Indies to Sanditon, as well as a girl's school. When Mrs. Griffiths arrives, they find that the two families are the same. Accompanying Mrs Griffiths is Miss Lambe and two Miss Beauforts. Lady Denham wants Sir Edward to marry Miss Lambe, who is a wealthy heiress.
When walking with Mary and her daughter (Little Mary), Charlotte meets Sidney Parker, who is heading to a hotel. Charlotte sees him as 'seven or eight and twenty, very good looking, with a decided air of Ease and Fashion, and a lively countenance'. They continue without him, and head to Sanditon House, where Lady Denham lives. Charlotte sees Miss Brereton and Sir Edward sitting very close together and talking gently. Charlotte is surprised by Miss Brereton, but leaves them to their privacy, and doesn't tell Mary. The story ends when they enter the house, and Charlotte notices a large portrait of Sir Henry Denham and a small portrait of Lady Denham's first husband.
Continuations and adaptations Edit
- Sanditon, by Jane Austen and "another lady", also published as Sanditon, by Jane Austen and Marie Dobbs, and Sanditon, by Jane Austen and Anne Telscombe,
- A Completion of Sanditon, by Juliette Shapiro
- A Return to Sanditon: a completion of Jane Austen's fragment, by Anne Toledo
- Sanditon, by Jane Austen and completed by D.J. Eden
- Jane Austen's Sanditon: A continuation, by Anna Austen Lefroy (Austen's niece)
- Jane Austen Out of the Blue, by Donald Measham
- Jane Austen's Charlotte, by Jane Austen and completed by Julia Barrett
- A Cure for All Diseases (Canada and US title: The Price of Butcher's Meat) by Reginald Hill
- Welcome to Sanditon, a modernised mini webseries adaptation set in California, premiered on 13 May 2013.
- Sanditon, a television series adapted by Andrew Davies and played from 25 August 2019.