Jane Austen's holograph fiction manuscripts: a digital and print resource

Project Description:

Jane Austen's fiction manuscripts are the first significant body of holograph evidence for any British novelist. They represent every stage of her writing career and a variety of physical states: working drafts, fair copies, and handwritten publications for private circulation. The manuscripts were held in a single collection until 1845, when at her sister Cassandra's death they were dispersed. Digitization will enable their virtual reunification and provide the first opportunity to make simultaneous comparison of their different physical and conceptual states; it will facilitate systematic study of Austen's working practices across her career, a remarkably neglected area of scholarship. The aim of this project is to make available all of Jane Austen's surviving fictional manuscript writings that will enable comparison of digital images of these manuscripts with html versions of the texts, in which important features such as revisions, spelling variants, and original formatting are reproduced. Texts collected in this resource include all Austen's extant juvenile fictions; her draft of the two closing chapters of Persusasion, and the unfinished novels The Watsons and Sanditon.