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Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts now available online!

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Scholars now have access to a wonderful digitized edition of all the surviving manuscripts written by Jane Austen.  Professor Kathryn Sutherland, Professor of Bibliography & Textual Criticism, English Faculty and St Anne’s College, Oxford was the principle investigator in a massive project to digitize the surviving manuscripts, which are now available through the Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts Digital Edition website.  This is a three-year AHRC-funded research project.  It is a joint project of the University of Oxford and King’s College London.

Prof. Sutherland has been in the news this week for comments made regarding her analysis of the handwritten letters and manuscripts.  She asserts that Austen’s manuscripts present a quite different picture of her writing from the finished novels we are familiar with today.  For a brief summary of Sutherland’s observations, and your own reading pleasure, here are a few news articles published this week:

Jane Austen’s famous prose may not be hers after all – Anita Sighn, Telegraph

and for another take on the scholarship,

Attack on Jane Austen’s genius shows neither sense nor sensibility – Jonathan Jones, Guardian