Austen manuscript fetches $1.6 million
Jane Austen never finished her novel "The Watsons," believed started in 1804, Sotheby's says.
July 14th, 2011
09:52 AM ET

Austen manuscript fetches $1.6 million

Sotheby's London auction house on Thursday sold a handwritten manuscript by Jane Austen for 993,250 British pounds, or about $1.6 million, more than triple the highest pre-sale estimate.

The partial manuscript of the unpublished novel "The Watsons" is full of corrections and strike-throughs in the author's own hand, Sotheby's e-catalog says.

"It is a tantalizing, delightful and highly accomplished fragment, which must surely have proved the equal of her other six novels, had she finished it," British author Margaret Drabble wrote in the description.

This is the only known Austen manuscript to remain in private hands, the auction house said.

Austen, who died in 1817 at age 41, is considered a giant of English literature. Her most famous works are "Sense and Sensibility" and "Pride and Prejudice."

Four bidders competed for the item, and applause broke out in the room at the conclusion. The winner was in the room but remained anonymous, Sotheby's said.

"The sale of 'The Watsons' has afforded an extremely broad audience an insight into the author's writing process and reworkings, which this manuscript uniquely displays," said Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby's senior specialist in books and manuscripts.

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Filed under: Auctions • Literature • United Kingdom
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. JB

    PD: My mother is also available.

    July 14, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  2. TvNYC

    Sickening society!

    July 14, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  3. PaintersEdge

    Dont worry, hes already been reported.

    July 14, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  4. PaintersEdge

    Dont worry, ive already reported these Justin and JB characters.

    July 14, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  5. Catholic Priest

    @ painters idiot , get a real job and shut that hole in your face or i'll shut it for u!! Dont make me have to butt raype your daughter and then u next while she watch !!! And if u dont shut up and mind your own business i'll butt raype your whole family while your grandparents watch !!!! No shut up !!!!!!

    July 14, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  6. fernace

    Hope you're reporting the sick "priest" while you're at it, PaintersEdge, this kind of cr.ap & threats are stupid, juvenile & creepy! Not in the least funny, if that's what the "priest" is trying for!

    July 14, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  7. PaintersEdge

    I already have. CNN notified me they are performing an investigation. If its a cell phone they track the number and info, or if its a PC they can find the information through CPI tracking. I was told legal matters would be taken due to threats of death, and personnel information given over public blogs. Hope they all enjoyed it

    July 14, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JB

    @Painters, please give me your mothers address so I can go fuc her. Ill be gentle and only do her ass. I know she's gonna like it, I have a big dic.

    July 14, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. PaintersEdge

    She doesn't like big dics, you ass. She has a bad back, she only likes tiny pr!ks that way she can swallow it whole.

    July 14, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Justin

    my daughter likes latino dic..any latinos want a try..? JB was first in line n got a taste..said it felt like warm apple pie...lmfao..n i love little boys..thats why i became a priest

    July 14, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. PaintersEdge

    I'm going to report you. My Mom is an old piece of sh!t. She's no trash, last time she had a dic was 50 years ago

    July 14, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. HRH banasy

    I would love to know what 'The Watsons' is about.
    I wonder if the new owner has any aspirations to release it as a book.
    After all, VC Andrews has been doing it since her death many years ago...

    July 14, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ¤.¤

    I think Justin and the priest are one and the same...

    July 14, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Juan Banuelos

    Mama I told you not to fuc inside the church. "But honey the priest told me its ok, Jesus doesn't look"

    July 14, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ¤.¤

    You people are gross to the extreme.

    July 14, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
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