We often wonder how many classic works were created in order for them to continue to be buried somewhere. These thoughts burden our minds, especially if we have some authors in mind. They might be fragmentary and perhaps discarded as they sit in some jumbled boxes.
These unfinished novels belong to authors who couldn’t continue, whether it was because of perfectionism, death, or disease. Even though the climax is only halfway completed, creating a masterwork requires immense creativity and insight.
However, their incompleteness lends them a mysterious appeal because it leaves room for speculation, daydreaming, and what-if thinking. Today’s blog honors the unfinished novels of 7 authors you love!
Sanditon – by Jane Austen
On March 18, 1817, the author, currently pretty much everyone’s favorite, cast aside her pen as a novelist. The second edition of James Edward Austen – Leigh’s A Memoir of Jane Austen contains a synopsis of this book. It was, at this point, that the general public first became aware that an 1871 version of the novel existed.
This book takes place in the fictional town of Sanditon. It is situated along the Sussex coast in southeast England. Before being renamed Sanditon, Austen’s book had the working title The Brothers. Each of her characters in the book is critiqued with her signature razor-sharp humor.
Chapter 12 of Sanditon abruptly ends halfway through, leaving room for speculation. And four months later, Austen passed away from illness. The book has become a popular continuator among writers today.
The First Man – by Albert Camus
Albert Camus was working on the classic semi-autobiographical novel The First Man, also known as Le Premier Homme, at the time of his passing. He died in a car accident in 1960. Even though the book has a little over 200 pages, it doesn’t feel like the entirety of the work.
The piece, which Camus labeled The Novel of My Maturity, was found in the accident site’s mud. It was split into two sections: his early years and a grand narrative about his beloved Algeria.
It details growing up and going to school as well as the past of colonial people in unfriendly African terrain. His daughter Catherine Camus took the manuscript and his notes to present in a book in 1994.
The Ivory Tower – by Henry James
American-British realist Henry James passed away in February 1916 with two of his unfinished novels. The Ivory Tower was one of them.
The book’s focus is the treasure gained by two ex-partners and dying millionaires, Abel Gaw and Frank Betterman. James sought to call out the enormous wealth of the plutocrats of the golden age through his work.
He was one of the most brilliant minds of the 19th century, and despite this work being incomplete, it quickly rose to prominence and garnered lavish praise. The novel was then published posthumously in 1917.
The Mystery of Edwin Drood – by Charles Dickens
After Charles Dickens passed away with only the first half of the novel written, The Mystery of Edwin Drood did continue to be an enigma. Similar to many of the author’s other books, this one was serialized in 12 parts. It was the author’s final publication before his death.
He started writing the novel in October 1869, and almost five months later, in March 1870, he performed his last reading in front of an audience. The book results in more questions than it answers as it examines topics like character deception and the loss of innocence.
Readers and critics have a lot of debate regarding how the book was supposed to end. The scenario apparently centers around the disappearance of Edwin Drood, the nephew of John Jasper, a choirmaster. However, the author’s death sealed the secret since he did not provide plot summary notes.
The Original of Laura – by Vladimir Nabokov
Vladimir Nabokov was a Russian-American author and poet. The book that Vladimir Nabokov was working on remained still unfinished when he passed away in 1977. Vladimir insisted that any unfinished novel be burnt after his passing since he was a stickler for detail. The novel The Original of Laura wouldn’t have been released if the author’s desires had been honored. The novel’s first edition was written by hand on 138 index cards.
Dr. Philip Wild, a wealthy man who is subjected to humiliation by his young wife Flora, is the story’s primary character. The self-destruction of Wild and Flora’s infidelity forms the basis of the story. Later, Dmitri Nabokov, his son, who disregarded his father’s wishes, published it in 2009.
The Mysterious Stranger – by Mark Twain
Mark Twain is regarded by many as one of the best, and for all the right reasons. He was indeed one of the finest American writers of all time. He worked on The Mysterious Stranger on and off from 1897 to 1908, and by the time he finished it, he was already a well-known realism author.
By the time of his death in 1910, he had already started several versions of the story, all of which remained unfinished. However, all three versions shared the same ideas and criticized Abrahamic customs’ wild and foolish nature.
It also seems to be lamenting the brutal insignificance of human life. The focus of this 1916 story is the man who shows up in a small village and amazes everyone with his exceptional abilities.
The Garden of Eden – by Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway is one of the most popular American writers of the 20th century. In 1946, he started working on The Garden of Eden and continued to do so for the following 15 years until his death in 1961. As a result, the book that readers currently possess has been extensively edited and organized.
He observed how men and women interacted and showed curiosity about the various gender roles. The publication of the book is still up for debate.
This is because many individuals think the author’s efforts to create a new course were lost during the editing process. The book’s posthumous edition was published in 1986.
In the end
This ends our contribution to the unfinished novels of the seven authors you love.
Numerous aspects of an author’s life could restrict their ability to produce their best work. And because of these interruptions, some of their unfinished works may never be published. But they go on to become the greatest unfinished novels of all time.
The books we listed were masterpieces that were destined for popularity because they were the products of some of the time’s most well-known authors. And whether they’re finished or not, you’ll enjoy appreciating their final creations before they retire as writers for any reason.
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