Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Jane Austen letter shows her satirical nature

A letter written by author Jane Austen sold yesterday at Sotheby’s in London for quite a bit more than the estimated 100,000 British pounds ($128,820 USD) it was expected to bring in. According to the Sotheby’s website, the letter written to Austen’s niece sold for 162,500 pounds ($209,333).

The 1812 letter highlights the writer’s satirical tendencies with its commentary about a fellow author’s recent book. Written in third person, the letter was sent to Anna Austen but is written as if it were addressing the other writer, Rachel Hunter, whose Gothic novel “Lady Maclairn, the Victim of Villainy” Jane Austen deemed to be “most tiresome and prosy”

A second piece, a fragment of a letter written to the same niece in 1814, was auctioned off at the same time for 17,500 pounds ($22,544). Another letter fragment was also offered, but the auction site had not yet listed the final sale price of it when I checked this morning.

For more details on the letters, visit the Sotheby’s site. There is a news release and three auction listings.

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