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Jane Austen News – Issue 154

The Jane Austen News looks at the cast of Sanditon

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


Jane Austen Letter Remnants  

When a private US collector paid £16,000 in September 2017 for a book of historical autographs (including those from such prominent figures as George Washington and Queen Victoria) they probably weren’t expecting to come across something which Jane Austen fans worldwide are always longing for – a lost extract from one of her letters. That is just what they found however.

Although the text of the extract had been known for many years as it was featured in Letters of Jane Austen, edited by Edward Lord Brabourne and published in 1884, the letter itself had been missing for years. Part of the reason for this being that as Jane Austen’s popularity grew in the 19th century her relative Lord Brabourne sold off a lot of her notes, since the desire to possess some of her hand written work was one felt keenly by many. This is part of the reason that there are scraps from letters found rather than whole letters. In the case of this letter scrap, the autograph is missing – so that was probably sold separately at some point previously.

The contents of the six handwritten lines in the autograph book come from letter 87 – a letter Jane wrote in September 1813 to her sister Cassandra, detailing advice to her brother Henry’s French housekeeper:

By the time you get this, I hope George & his party will have finished their Journey.

God bless you all. I have given Mde. B. my Inventory of the linen, & added 2 round towels to it by her desire.

She has shewn me all her storeplaces, & will shew you & tell you all the same. Perhaps I may write again by Henry.

Although it’s not a juicy new insight into Jane Austen’s literary plans for future novels, or an extract of a love letter long forgotten, it’s still wonderful to discover that another small piece of her epistolary past still survives to this day.
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Jane Austen News – Issue 132

The Jane Austen News has a look at a first edition sale

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


Bookseller Wanted…In The Maldives!

Philip Blackwell, scion of the bookseller family is advertising a vacancy that might just be the dream job of any sun-loving bookworms. He is looking for a bookseller to work at what is possibly the world’s most remote bookshop, based in the luxury eco resort of Soneva Fushi in the Maldives.

The successful candidate will need to be happy to hold the job for at least three months, which doesn’t seem like too much of an ask as far as the Jane Austen News is concerned. Job responsibilities will include keeping “an entertaining and lively blog that captures the exhausting life of a desert island bookseller”, as well as selling books to A-list celebrities and their friends. Applicants should have “a passion for books, the ability to engage guests of all ages”, as they will need to be able to entertain children with storytelling and host creative writing courses for guests.“

The Maldives shop is a part of Philip Blackwell’s Ultimate Library business. After having trouble finding good reading material while on his holidays, Blackwell thought of creating library collections for resort hotels. To date, Blackwell’s Ultimate Library business has more than 250 library/bookshop projects around the world. For every hotel library supplied, the company also helps donate a reading and reference library to a local institution that can benefit those who live nearby.

Time to give your CV a dust off?

Continue reading Jane Austen News – Issue 132

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