Archive for November 20th, 2012

Jane Austen writing — as imagined and drawn by Isabel Bishop (1902-88)

Dear friends and readers,

Doubtless you will remember how last spring, early and late I was examining the later manuscripts of Jane Austen (using diplomatic transcripts, the online Jane Austen manuscript site), reading about the study of manuscripts in and of itself, and some subsets of Austen’s letters (those to her niece, Anna) — all with a view to writing a review for ECCB: The Eighteenth-Century Current Bibliography. When I sent the editor the final copy, she praised my piece strongly and promised it would be published this coming spring. I’ve heard nothing else since (nothing unusual in this as it can take a couple of years) but I’ve decided not to wait, especially since I attended a couple of book history sessions at the recent EC/ASECS where I heard a discussion of other new and expensive series by Cambridge of classic books already published within the last 50 years as equally contradictory, not seriously published with all the variants, really almost wholly reliant on earlier scholarship, over-priced.

This copy has all the references, notes and bibliography: Jane Austen’s Later Manuscripts in the Cambridge Edition

Facsimile of first page of manuscript poem, “When stretched on one’s bed” (about a migraine headache, a “fierce throbbing head”)

I can here also link in some of the thinking and documents that lie behind my brief essay-review, for it is a sort of essay. Here is a study of modern manuscripts (how to classify and approach them — Austen’s would be considered modern manuscripts), a chronology of the ms’s, and materials on Anna Lefroy and Catherine Hubback as Anna is a central voice (insofar as anything is) in the “Jane Austen’s theory of fiction” section of the book, ad Hubback is important for what she can tell us about The Watsons:

Jane Austen’s unpublished writing: the manuscripts, a chronology of writing

Jane Austen’s unpublished writing in context, or Jane Austen her own Vanity Press: Donald Reiman’s The Study of Modern Manuscripts

Anna Lefroy when still a young woman

Jane and Anna Austen in collaboration: Jane Austen her first sequel (Sir Charles Grandison, the play)

Austen’s letters to Anna Lefroy: No 103, a life of Anna, and Anna’s continuation of Sanditon

Jane Austen’s poems and letters to Anne Lefroy: No 113, and “Sigh, Lady, Sigh … ”

Catherine Anne Austen Hubback’s The Younger Sister: a fine and telling sequel to Jane Austen’s The Watsons

An Englishwoman in California: Catherine Anne Hubback’s letters

Catherine Hubback

Perhaps putting all this online and in one place will help someone who is deciding what editions of books which contain reprints in some form of the later manuscripts to buy or take out of the library.


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