A letter critiquing a contemporary author for being “prosy” goes under the hammer at a London auction house on Tuesday.
The letter is from Austen to Anna Lefroy, the eldest daughter of the author’s eldest brother Rev. James Austen. Auctioneers Sotheby’s expect it to fetch 80,000 pounds ($103,000) to 100,000 pounds.
The subject of the letter is a “most tiresome and prosy” Gothic novel entitled “Lady Maclairn, the Victim of Villainy”, published by her contemporary Rachel Hunter.
“It’s very interesting to have a letter by Jane Austen talking about writing, talking about novels, talking about someone else’s novels because there are not many instances in Jane Austen’s writing where we get that”, said Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby’s director of books and manuscripts.
A measure of the author’s enduring popularity, Austen memorabilia can command spectacular sums. In 2011, the earliest surviving Austen manuscript, a handwritten draft for a book that was never published, sold for 993,250 pounds ($1.6 million) at auction.
The auction will be held today, July 11, 2017.
(Adapted from Reuters)