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Jane Austen Manuscript Sells For $1.6M

abstract:The title of this feature should read "The Art of Aging Well". Nobody can say the gal hasn't gained in popularity over the years with the sale (to an individual) of an unfinished manuscript titled, "The Watsons" dating from 1804 at Sotheby's auction this past week, making it the only original JA manuscript or portion-there-of NOT in the hands of a public institution. Makes you wonder what the chap who bought it is going to do with it? Watsons is the story of four sisters who are the family of a widowed clergyman. The work was apparently passed on in the estate to Jane's sister Cassandra, then 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. It passed to Caroline Austen’s nephew, William Austen-Leigh, and he presented the first six leaves (a quire of two leaves and a quire of four leaves) to a charity sale in aid of the Red Cross Society at Christie, Manson, and Woods’s on 26 April 1915. Lot 1520, it sold for £65 to Lady Wernher.

The author Margaret Drabble describes the work as "a tantalising, delightful and highly accomplished fragment, which must surely have proved the equal of her other six novels had she finished it". Jane Austen died at the age of 41 in 1817. You can get the complete set of her works for only $15.15 plus shipping Complete Novels Of Jane Austen or purchase a Amazon Kindle Wi-Fi 6'' Wireless Reading Device (Graphite) and download the digital version. And then take advantage of the 99cent offer for the entire digital library of Jane Austen titles here.

Become a member of the Jane Austen North American Society (or stop in to see what kind of trouble they routinely get into... I shall now invent a poolside cocktail to celebrate!

-1 part GIN, British label please
-1 part Absynthe, because it's old and previously forbidden
-dash of rose water, the essence of a proper country garden
-angostura bitters, for all the spilt tears in Jane's novels
-guava juice, to give it the perfect shade of pink-coral
Put all ingredients into a martini shaker over ice and strain into a fine crystal glass, which lends the appropriate drama for the occasion.
Cheers Jane Austen book lovers!


July 19, 2011



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