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Jane Austen's Manuscript Works 

Jane Austen's Manuscript Works

Written by: Jane Austen
Edited by: Linda Bree, Peter Sabor, and Janet Todd

Series: Broadview Editions

Publication Date: December 14, 2012
350pp • Paperback / PDF / ePub
ISBN: 9781554810581 / 1554810582

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When Jane Austen died, at the age of 41, she left behind her not only six novels but a large number of manuscripts, ranging from juvenile works to the novel that she was writing at the time of her final illness. The six published novels are now undisputed classics. The manuscripts, however, despite the extraordinary writing they contain and the way in which they illuminate Jane Austen's work as a novelist, are much less well known. From the brilliance of the juvenilia to the urbane modernity of 'Sanditon' these works show Austen pushing the conventional boundaries of fiction, exploring the implications of vulgarity and violence, experimenting with different styles and tones, and practicing and refining her arts of narrative.

This Broadview Edition includes "Lady Susan," "The Watsons," "Sanditon," and ten important early manuscript works. Historical appendices include Austen's letters on fiction; continuations written by Austen's niece and nephew of two of her early works; and Sir Walter Scott's important critical appraisal of Austen from 1816.


"As the informative and scholarly Introduction suggests, these manuscript works, with their combination of boisterous satire and cool detachment, throw a startling light on Jane Austen's writing practices and the achievements of her great novels.  Edited by three distinguished Austen scholars, with useful notes at the bottom of the page, this is a volume all teachers and lovers of her work will want to possess." - John Wiltshire, La Trobe University, Melbourne

"Here, in a form fully annotated and accessible to students, we have 'the Other Jane Austen'—a selection of the juvenilia, the wicked 'Lady Susan,' and the tantalising fragments 'The Watsons' and 'Sanditon.' No longer buried as 'Minor Works,' these sparkling productions, unpublished in her lifetime, provide indispensable insight into a brilliant author at work and at play." - Juliet McMaster, University of Alberta

Linda Bree is Editorial Director, Arts and Literature at the Cambridge University Press and the editor of the Broadview Edition of Jane Austen's Persuasion. Peter Sabor is Professor of English and Canada Research Chair in Eighteenth Century Studies at McGill University, and the editor of the Broadview Edition of Sarah Fielding's The History of Ophelia. Janet Todd is President of Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge and the co-editor of the Broadview Edition of Charlotte Smith's Desmond.

Table of Contents: [Back to Top]




Jane Austen: A Brief Chronology

A Note on the Text


From Volume the First

Frederic and Elfrida

Jack and Alice

Henry and Eliza

The beautifull Cassandra

The Visit

From Volume the Second

Love and Freindship

Lesley Castle

The first Act of a Comedy--

Volume the Third


Catharine, or the Bower

Lady Susan

The Watsons


Appendix A: Austen's Letters about Fiction

  1. To Anna Austen, Wednesday 10-Thursday 18 August 1814
  2. To Anna Austen, Friday 9-Sunday 18 September 1814

Appendix B: Continuations of "Evelyn" and "Catharine" by James Edward Austen and Anna Lefroy

  1. James Edward Austen, Continuation of "Evelyn" (c. 1815-16)
  2. Anna Lefroy, Continuation of "Evelyn" (c. 1814-15)
  3. James Edward Austen, first continuation of "Catharine" (c. 1815-16)
  4. James Edward Austen Leigh, second continuation of "Catharine" (post-1845)

Appendix C: 'Love and Freindship' (1790) and Frances Burney's Evelina (1778)

  1. From Evelina, ed. Susan Kubica Howard (2000)

Appendix D: Mary Wollstonecraft's Thoughts on the Education of Daughters (1787): "Unfortunate Situation of Females, fashionably educated, and left without a Fortune"

Appendix E: From Walter Scott, Quarterly Review (October 1815)

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Jane Austen's Manuscript Works

2012 • 350pp • Paperback • 9781554810581 / 1554810582

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Broadview Press acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund, and also acknowledges the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation. Freehand Books, an imprint of Broadview, acknowledges the support of the Canadian Council of the Arts.