May, 2011

First of all, let us extend our sincere apologies for not posting for such a long time. Miss Wareham and I have been very busy studying. Mary Bennet would be proud. However, I have a spare moment of procrastinaction to tell you lovely janeites some staggering news.

The original manuscript for Jane Austen’s early, unfinished novel ‘The Watsons’ is going up for auction and is expected to fetch £200,000 -£300,000! (That’s about $485,000 for our friends across the pond.)

It’s the earliest surviving manuscript of Jane Austen and any janeite worth their salt would give the worth of Pemberley just to be in its presence. It’s famous for showing Miss Austen’s idiosyncratic use (or not) of grammar, devil-may-care spelling, and iconic tiny almost illegible yet stunning handwriting.

Imagine seeing, let alone owning, the thought process of Jane Austen tracked on a piece of paper; crossings out, ink blots, spills and stains next to notes in the margin and corrections…and ooh, I’m getting a little flustered. The luckiest highest bidder will be privy to a masterpiece in the making, as anyone who has ever read The Watsons will have been able to tell it was developing into something just as magificent as The Great Six.

As much as I would like to be that fortunate (in more than one sense of the word) highest bidder, £300,000 is more than I would like to pay for a house. On the moon. If all the janeites had a whip round, by my calculations we could buy it and share it for a penny each- there are so many of us worldwide.

One small flaw though. How would we decide who got to keep it? Many a parasol would be used for no good if THAT became an issue.

Keep reading- we promise more regular updates soon. Remember:
“Know your own happiness. Want for nothing but patience — or give it a more fascinating name: Call it hope.”

Continue reading