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JANE AUSTEN EARLY UNFINISHED MANUSCRIPT SELLS FOR $1.6M

JANE AUSTEN EARLY UNFINISHED MANUSCRIPT SELLS FOR $1.6M

The Pride and Prejudice author's first part of the manuscript, some 12 pages, was sold during World War I to benefit the Red Cross and now belongs to the Morgan Library & Museum. The other 68 pages now belong to a private buyer.

The heavily corrected unfinished draft of the early Jane Austen manuscript sold at auction at Sotheby’s in London on Thursday for almost 2 million pounds ($1.6 million), three times the estimated presale price, The Associated Press reported. The draft of “The Watsons” went to an unidentified buyer; Sotheby’s said it is the only major manuscript by Austen still in private hands.

Austen wrote “The Watsons,” an unfinished and unpublished novel, in 1804. It is the story of a poverty-stricken young woman whose only friend is her ailing clergyman father. A Sotheby’s book specialist, Gabriel Heaton, said the draft “has afforded an extremely broad audience an insight into the author’s process and reworkings.”

Austen, who died in 1817 at age 41, published six novels. More widely known titles include “Sense and Sensibility” “Pride and Prejudice”and “Northanger Abbey" (more)

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Article by FELICIA R. LEE, New York Times | Read full article here

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