Jane Austen manuscript fetches $1.6M at auction

July 14, 2011 8:09:40 AM PDT
Sotheby's says an unfinished early Jane Austen manuscript has sold at auction for almost 1 million pounds ($1.6 million). The draft of "The Watsons" sold for 993,250 pounds ($1.59 million), triple its highest pre-sale estimate.

The incomplete work is the earliest surviving manuscript for a novel by Austen, probably written in 1804 but not published in Austen's lifetime.

It centers on a family of four sisters, the daughters of a widowed clergyman

Sotheby's says it is the only major manuscript by the author still in private hands.

Austen published six novels, including "Pride and Prejudice," and died in 1817 at age 41.

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