The Watsons, one of the very few original manuscripts by Jane Austen that still exist has sold at Sotheby’s in London today for a whopping £993,250 ($1.6m), three times the estimated price! The unfinished manuscript was the last remaining of Austen’s work to be owned privately and will now live in splendor at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. This is the best news possible for those (like me) who were concerned that the manuscript would disappear into private hands and not be exhibited to the public.
You can watch these three videos by the BBC explaining the importance of the manuscript and watch the final gavel fall to close the sale. Enjoy!
- Rare Jane Austen novel has sold for a record price at auction
- Jane Austen manuscript sells for £993,250
- Jane Austen manuscript sells for more than £990,000
Curious about Jane Austen unfinished novel? Read my review of the Naxos audiobook production of The Watsons.
Cheers, Laurel Ann
© 2011 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose
I’m so excited about this! As nice as it might have been to see it here in the US, I’m really glad it will stay in the UK. Oxford is perfect! Jane’s father and 2 brothers went there. I think they’d all be immensely surprised and proud.
Great news! I hope the Bodleian will have it on display.
Wonderful news! thanks for sharing it with us ~
Great news! Now the great masses–including me–will actually have a chance to lay eyes on it! Let’s just hope it’s to be displayed!
I am so very pleased that it will remain in England where it belongs and at Oxford. That is great news. I doubt if an artifact of that value and probably as fragile will be taken out and passed around often….let alone displayed.
I’m glad to see it went to a library and not into private hands too. Thanks for the links!