Monday, June 14, 2010

Jane Austen's Fiction Manuscripts

This isn't at all what I had intended to be blogging about first thing this Monday morning, but a quick glance at Two Nerdy History Girls sent me into such fits of ecstasy that I simply had to share. Two Nerdy History Girls is a blog run by historical novelists Loretta Chase and Susan Holloway Scott where they share all kinds of fascinating tidbits from history. I often check it for their interesting posts on historical events, fashions, and resources for the history buff, but never have I been more enthused about one of their posts than today's Jane Austen Crosses Out, courtesy of Ms. Scott, in which she brings readers' attention to an amazing, joint project between the University of Oxford and King's College, in which they are providing an online database  of all of Austen's handwritten manuscripts, displayed side by side with translations (for all those of us who never could decipher dear Jane's economic scrawl). The project is entitled Jane Austen's Fiction Manuscripts and here are it's stated aims and objectives:
  • To create a digital resource reuniting all the known holograph surviving manuscripts of Austen’s fiction in an unprecedented virtual collection.
  • To provide for the first time full descriptions of, transcriptions of, analysis of, and commentary on the manuscripts in the archive, including details of erasures, handwriting, paper quality, watermarks, ink, binding structures, and any ancillary materials held with the holographs as aspects of their physical integrity or provenance.
  • To develop complex interlinking of the virtual collection to allow systematic comparison of the manuscripts under a number of headings representing both their intellectual and physical states. 
Now, dear readers, are you jumping up and down, unable to contain your enthusiasm, just like me? What a wonderful way to beginning the work week! If I can only manage to make it productive when the entire manuscript of Persuasion, with each edit crying out for analysis, beckons me from my very own computer! This is bliss!


  1. I am jumping up and down and squealing!! :)

  2. Awesome news! Thank you for sharing it, Alexa!:)