This is the first volume (of three) in the completion of Jane Austen’s series “THE WATSONS” by her niece Catherine Hubback-Watson.
Mr. Watson is a widowed clergyman with two sons and four daughters. The youngest daughter, Emma, has been brought up by a wealthy aunt and is consequently better educated and more refined than her sisters. But when her aunt contracts a foolish second marriage, Emma is obliged to return to her father's house. There she is chagrined by the crude and reckless husband-hunting of two of her sisters. She finds the kindness of her eldest and most responsible sister, Elizabeth, more attractive.
Living near the Watsons are the Osbornes, a great titled family. Emma attracts some notice from the boorish and awkward young Lord Osborne, while one of her sisters pursues Lord Osborne's arrogant, social-climbing friend, Tom Musgrave. Various minor characters provide potential matches for Emma's brothers and sisters.
Mr. Watson is seriously ill in the opening chapters, and Austen confided in her sister Cassandra that he was to die in the course of the work. Emma was to decline a marriage proposal from Lord Osborne, and was eventually to marry Osborne's virtuous former tutor, Mr. Howard.
AUTHOR PROFILE: Catherine Anne Hubback (7 July 1818 – 25 February 1877) was an English novelist, and the eighth child and fourth daughter of Sir Francis Austen (1774-1865), and niece of JANE AUSTEN.
She began writing fiction to support herself and her three sons after her husband John Hubback was institutionalized with a breakdown.
She had copies of some of her aunt's unfinished works and, in 1850, remembering Austen's proposed plot, she wrote The Younger Sister, a completion of Jane Austen's THE WATSONS. In the next thirteen years, she completed nine more novels.
She emigrated to California, USA in 1870. In the autumn of 1876 she removed to Gainesville, Prince William Co, VA, where she died in 1877.