Manuscript in Jane Austen's hand

Contributed by Chawton House Library

Manuscript in Jane Austen's hand

Gillian Dow, University of Southampton and Chawton House Library writes, 'Sir Charles Grandison',a manuscript play in five acts in Jane Austen's hand. Five sections of pages of varying sizes, forming five (perhaps originally four)small booklets.In this manuscript,the five lengthy volumes of Samuel Richardson's epistolary novel Sir Charles Grandison (1753-54) become a very short five-act play. It was probably designed to be acted in private, in front of an audience who knew the source text well, and thus provides useful evidence of the late-eighteenth and early nineteenth-century vogue for private theatricals,Austen family tradition suggested that the adaptation was dictated to Austen by her niece,Jane-Anna-Elizabeth('Anna',1793-1872)the daughter of her eldest brother James (1765-1843),and a member of the most literary branch of Austen's immediate family. Like the family,scholars are united in agreeing that the handwriting is Austen's own,although the heavy corrections and crossings-out are unlike those to be found in Austen's other manuscripts.

'Sir Charles Grandison' is an important manuscript for Chawton House Library - one of the jewels of the collection.

Comments are closed for this object

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

About this object

Click a button to explore other objects in the timeline


Chawton House Library, Chawton


c.1791, c1800


View more objects from people in Hampshire.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.