The Watsons, by Jane Austen

Jane Austen’s manuscript of her unpublished and unfinished The Watsons will be auctioned off at Sotheby’s in New York this Thursday. If you don’t have half a million dollars to spare, Jane Austen’s manuscripts are online, including this one:

“The first winter assembly in the Town of D. in Surry was to be held on Tuesday October the 13th, and it was was generally expected to be a very good one; a long list of County Families was confidently run over as sure of attending, and sanguine hopes were entertained that the Osbornes themselves would be there. The Edwardes’ invitation to the Watsons followed of course. The Edward’s were people of fortune who lived in the Town and kept their Coach; the Watsons inhabited a village about 3 miles distant, were poor and had no close carriage; and ever since there had been Balls in the place, the former were accustomed to invite the Latter to dine and sleep at their House, on every monthly return throughout the winter.” — The Watsons (1): Diplomatic Display, manuscript of Jane Austen, with the abbreviations expanded and her later corrections applied.

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