Was scene set in Worthing or Devon?

In the article on Jane Austen in the Herald (April 25), it was suggested that Worthing provided background for her unfinished novel Sandition, with Trafalgar House being modelled on Warwick House.

The anonymous author, who completed the unfinished novel in the 1970s, was convinced that Sanditon was based on Sidmouth in Devon, with the fictional town of Brinshore being based on nearby Branscombe. Austen’s description of Sandcombe closely resembled 19th century Sidmouth and she was thought to have simply transferred the resort to the Sussex coast.

There is a Trafalgar House in Branscombe and many of the names of characters in her novels can be found in parish registers of the area in the early 19th century. Two of her characters lie side by side in a Sidmouth churchyard.

I feel this is far more likely than the suggested connection with Worthing. But perhaps, as a native of east Devon, I am a little biased! My late father was the vicar of Branscombe.

Angela Stamp

Alexandra Road