Cassandra’s handwritten copy of Sanditon

Object name: Manuscript copy of Sanditon

Object number: CHWJA:JAH357.1-3

Category: Object

Description: A handwritten copy of Sanditon, Jane Austen’s last, unfinished novel, made by her sister Cassandra. This fair copy was written out in three green booklets, from Jane’s own working draft, at some point after Jane’s death. A  watermark on the paper shows that this copy was made after 1831. It must have been completed at some point before 1845, when Cassandra herself died.

Made: 1831 – 1845

Context: Sanditon was Jane Austen’s last, unfinished novel. She began work on it in Chawton in January 1817 and completed 11½  chapters before abandoning the project on 18 March, most likely due to her final illness. At this point she called it The Brothers. Jane’s original manuscript is held at King’s College, Cambridge.

A transcript of Sanditon was first published in 1925 under the name Fragment of a Novel. It was since been published in its own right as Sanditon.

As an incomplete fragment, it has proved tempting to many other writers who have sought to complete the story. The first of these was by Jane’s niece, Anna Lefroy, however she also left the work incomplete.

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