Rare Jane Austen Manuscript Sells for $1.6 Million At Sotheby's

Colin FirthColin Firth as Mr. Darcy in the BBC adaptation of the Austen novel

Photo: screenshot from youtube

An original Jane Austen manuscript of an unfinished novel called “The Watsons” sold for £993,250 ($1.6 million) today in London, the BBC reports.Sotheby’s Auction House estimated the work would sell for £200,000-300,000 ($322K-483K) but it went for more than triple the estimate.

A representative for Sotheby’s said that this piece is informative about Austen’s technique because “it is very much a working draft,” with words crossed out and text added in between lines.

The manuscript is so valuable because few of Austen’s drafts still exist. The author died at the age of 41 in 1817.

Critic Margaret Drabble described the draft to Reuters as “a tantalising, delightful and highly accomplished fragment, which must surely have proved the equal of her other six novels, had she finished it.”

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