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Friday, July 15

Jane Austen Manuscript of The Watson's sells for $1.6 Million

Our friends across The Pond can heave a sigh of relief. Jane Austen's original manuscript of The Watsons has sold for over an astounding £990,000 although it was valued for no more than £300,000. The Bodleian Library in Oxford has purchased this rare item, the only surviving original manuscript of any of Jane Austen's novels.
The manuscript descended from Jane Austen’s sister Cassandra to her niece Caroline Mary Craven Austen (1805-1880), the younger daughter of their eldest brother James. It was in Caroline’s possession when first published in 1871 by her brother James Edward Austen-Leigh.- About the Watsons
The draft of this unfinished novel is not complete. The Morgan Library in New York City owns 12 pages of the manuscript. A few of its pages were lost by The University of London. The manuscript is remarkable in that it is a working draft, with crossings out, ink splotches, and many changes inserted into the lines and spacings.
"Richard Ovenden, Deputy Librarian, Bodleian Libraries said: ‘The Bodleian Libraries are delighted to have succeeded in their bid to save Jane Austen’s draft manuscript of the The Watsons for the nation. The manuscript is such a valuable part of our literary heritage and we are glad it will stay now in Britain. We will make the manuscript available to the general public who can come and see it as early as this autumn when The Watsons will indeed be a star item in our forthcoming exhibition Treasures of the Bodleian." - Saved for the Nation: Bodleian Acquires Jane Austen Manuscript
Much of the money to purchase The Watsons came from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF), through a £894,700 grant.Other contributors include the Friends of the National Libraries, the Friends of the Bodleian and the Jane Austen Memorial Trust.
Links contributed by Tony Grant, London Calling.

1 comment:

Nonna Beach said...

Wow, that is amazing but I'm not surprised at how valuable it has become...what a treasure !!!