Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Jane Austen's Fiction Manuscripts
Here are a couple of interesting links to news about Jane Austen on the net which discuss Jane's books being heavily edited and there is even a suggestion that she was a bad speller. How can they say such a thing?!
Here's one from the Guardian which does at least try to defend our Jane! There are also some interesting comments below the article where the general public have added their three penny worth!
If you'd like to judge for yourself, head on over to Jane Austen's Fiction Manuscripts where you can see some 1100 pages of fiction written in Jane's own hand. It is indeed wonderful to see that she too had messy jottings, which surely as a toiling writer is the only way to work. I have to say I find it extremely heartening to see that she didn't write it all down perfectly. Can you imagine how thrilled she would have been if she'd had access to our modern technology where it is so easy to delete mistakes and write new drafts, not to mention having built-in access to a thesaurus and spell-checker. Then again, we wouldn't have had these wonderful treasures which prove she was a true artist seeking perfection in all that she wrote.
I still like to scribble down notes in pen or pencil when I'm getting ideas for a new book rather than using my laptop straight away. If you could, would you go back to the simple pleasures of pen and paper, or are you happiest in our computer age?