By Deborah Yaffe, Feb 10 2014 02:00PM
Some Jane Austen fan fiction is produced by professional writers with one eye on a potentially profitable market. But much Austen fan fiction is written by non-professionals – readers, essentially – who revere Jane Austen and want to lay a gift at the feet of the master.
As literature, the results do not always succeed. But as expressions of love, they are often rather touching.
Such is Jennifer Ready Bettiol’s 2012 completion of The Watsons, the subject of today’s post in my “Watsons in Winter” blog series. It’s an undercooked wrap-up of Austen’s fragment – Bettiol's additions consume fewer pages than Austen’s brief original, creating a work that is “more novella than novel,” as Bettiol herself admits – but it’s also a sincere act of homage and, as such, something every Janeite can appreciate.