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 WatsonsThe 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 ManuscriptMuch 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.
- Saved for the Nation: Bodleian Acquires Jane Austen Manuscript
- The £1m 'lost' Austen: Sold at auction, manuscript that comes with no beginning or end
- Jane Austen Manuscript Sells for More than 990,000.
- Sotheby's List of Catelogue Items for Sale
Links contributed by Tony Grant, London Calling.