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Rare Jane Austen Letters on Display


Circa 1810 Watercolour & pencil sketch of Jane Austen, believed to be drawn by her sister Cassandra

Circa 1810 Watercolour & pencil sketch of Jane Austen, believed to be drawn by her sister Cassandra

Jane Austen fans have an opportunity to get up close and personal with the English novelist through a collection of over 100 items on display in A Woman’s Wit: Jane Austen’s Life and Legacy at the Morgan Library and Museum in Manhattan.

The exhibition which runs until March 14, 2010 includes personal correspondence, the autograph manuscript of Lady Susan, the unfinished manuscript of The Watsons,  first and early editions of Austen’s novels  and drawings of people, places and events of significance to the author and the times she lived in.

While only a small number of Austen’s personal letters have survived, what does exist offers insight into her personality, her wit and her relationships.  For example, one letter to her 8-year-old niece is written with all words backwards – a fun puzzle for any child to receive.

Can’t make it to New York? Check out The Morgan Library & Museum’s online exhibition of A Woman’s Wit: Jane Austen’s Life and Legacy.

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