Sotheby’s London to Offer the Earliest Surviving Manuscript for a Novel by Jane Austen

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LONDON.- Sotheby’s London today announces that it will offer, as part of the English Literature and History Sale on 14th July 2011, the historic autograph manuscript of Jane Austen’s novel ‘The Watsons’ – the only major Austen manuscript remaining in private hands and the most important Jane Austen item to come to the market in over 20 years. It is estimated at £200,000-300,000. Probably written in 1804 when Austen wasn’t yet a published writer – but a period in her career that is nonetheless considered to be her mature writing period – this heavily corrected draft represents the earliest surviving manuscript for a novel by Jane Austen. The work, which was not published during her lifetime and remains incomplete, provides a fascinating insight into both her writing practices and her development into one of Britain’s greatest authors. It affords the reader an unparalleled glimpse into the ver