The Watsons is an unfinished novel by Jane Austen. She began writing it c. 1803 and probably abandoned it after her father's death in January 1805. It has five chapters, and is less than 18,000 words long. 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. 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.