Jane Austen draft novel fetches £1m

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The Independent Culture

The earliest surviving Jane Austen manuscript, a hand-written draft of a novel she never finished, sold for £993,250 at auction in London.

The Watsons is the story of four daughters of a widowed clergyman and is thought to have been written in about 1804. It was about a quarter of the way through and full of revisions when it was abandoned but contained the author's usual talent for wit and observation.

The manuscript, originally owned privately, was bought by an institution for three times the pre-sale estimate at Sotheby's.