Six Degrees of Separation from Sanditon to The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant

It’s the first Saturday of the month, which means a new round of #6degrees, and this month’s starting book is Sanditon by Jane Austen, her last novel, which was also unfinished. Despite loving Jane Austen, I have never read Sanditon. The unfinished aspect of it has always bothered me. I don’t want to read something finished by someone else, nor do I want to read something that isn’t complete as Jane intended. It’s a conundrum.

You can find the details and rules of the #6degrees meme at booksaremyfavouriteandbest, but in a nutshell, everyone has the same starting book and from there, you connect to other books. Some of the connections made are so impressive, it’s a lot of fun to follow.

The internet tells me that the main character in Sanditon is named Charlotte, so the first book I’m going to link to is Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, an eternal favourite. From here, I’m linking pigs, and going from Wilbur (aka ‘Some Pig’) to Napoleon from George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Jumping across now to another Napoleon, in particular Napoleon Bonaparte, whose rise is charted in the forthcoming release by Stephanie Parkyn, Josephine’s Garden (which I am currently reading). While I’m not really overly taken with Napoleon and Josephine in this novel, I am enjoying the early explorer/botany aspect, which is an area of interest of mine. I could link to quite a few books using this aspect, but the one I’ll settle on is The Blue Rose by Kate Forsyth, in which early explorers travel to China with the intent of securing tea plants and a cutting of the original red rose. From here I’m going to stick with botany and link to The Botanist’s Daughter by Kayte Nunn, another early explorer/botany historical adventure. And now I have arrived at my last link, and I’m going to be honest with you, this has been the hardest 6 degrees for me so far. It’s taken me three days to write this post and I’m still at a loss for my last link. I give up, I’m taking the easy way out and linking based on author, so my last link is to The Forgotten Letters Of Esther Durrant, which is of course by Kayte Nunn.

Until next month…

28 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation from Sanditon to The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant

  1. I loved the first link on Charlotte. Who can forget Charlotte’s web.

    Re not reading an unfinished book, I completely understand where you are coming from. There are very few authors I would do this for but Jane Austen would be (is, in fact, because I’ve read both her unfinished works more than once) the top of the list. This is because I’m interested in her as a writer, and particularly as an innovator, as well as in her novels per se. Why did she not finish The Watsons – we all have our ideas. What was she intending to do with Sanditon (we know why she didn’t finish it) – we all have our ideas!

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    • I can see the interest from that angle. I haven’t looked it up, but I’m wondering now if Sanditon has had its fair share of fan fiction finishes. There’s certainly a wealth of other Austen contemporary spin offs, so no doubt a few have attempted to dabble with this one as well.


      • I read one way back in the late 1970s – “by Jane Austen and another lady”. It’s probably the best known one. Can barely remember it. There have been quite a few others but I’m not really interested in them, and would only read them if my JA group decided to do a study of them. I prefer, really, to read original works than spin-offs. So much to read after all!

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  2. Your early explorer/ botanist tag prompted me to think of a few books, particularly The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert (the only Gilbert book I have enjoyed) and Euphoria by Lily King – have you read either of those?

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  3. Some new titles for me! The Blue Rose sounded familiar but I don’t seem to have read it. Hoping for some extra reading time over the holidays!

    A couple years ago I found myself studying Animal Rights, although I knew little about the topic. I surprised my law school professor and classmates by writing my term paper about Animal Rights in Children’s Literature and in my class presentation I read the last chapter of Charlotte’s Web. Amazingly, many had never read it. I had nearly everyone in tears (and got an A).

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  4. I agree with you about reading unfinished works – probably, Jane Austen would have been mortified to hear of us reading something she considered not quite ready or good enough. And I think your links are very elegant, I wouldn’t have known at all that you spent 3 days on them!

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  5. I’m not especially fond of reading unfinished novels either, hense the fact I have not actually read Sanditon despite being a fan of Austen. I loved the link between Sanditon and Charlotte’s Web though, as it is an old childhood favorite of mine.

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