20°C / 22°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 21°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 20°C
  • 10°C
  • Thu
  • 19°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 6°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 15°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 14°C
  • 9°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 11°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 9°C
  • Mon
  • 23°C
  • 10°C
  • Tue
  • 24°C
  • 11°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 10°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 8°C
  • Mon
  • 22°C
  • 7°C
  • Tue
  • 22°C
  • 6°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 7°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 5°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 3°C
  • Mon
  • 25°C
  • 16°C
  • Tue
  • 23°C
  • 16°C
  • Wed
  • 19°C
  • 15°C
  • Thu
  • 21°C
  • 13°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 12°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 16°C
  • 9°C
  • Wed
  • 14°C
  • 8°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 10°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 10°C
  • Mon
  • 17°C
  • 10°C
  • Tue
  • 13°C
  • 5°C
  • Wed
  • 15°C
  • 4°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 5°C
  • Fri
  • 19°C
  • 6°C
  • Mon
  • 18°C
  • 12°C
  • Tue
  • 14°C
  • 8°C
  • Wed
  • 14°C
  • 6°C
  • Thu
  • 14°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 7°C
  • Mon
  • 24°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 25°C
  • 9°C
  • Wed
  • 25°C
  • 9°C
  • Thu
  • 24°C
  • 7°C
  • Fri
  • 22°C
  • 6°C
  • Mon
  • 23°C
  • 3°C
  • Tue
  • 22°C
  • 5°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 4°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 1°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 0°C
  • Mon
  • 27°C
  • 8°C
  • Tue
  • 32°C
  • 8°C
  • Wed
  • 19°C
  • 9°C
  • Thu
  • 29°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 7°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 13°C
  • Tue
  • 15°C
  • 7°C
  • Wed
  • 12°C
  • 6°C
  • Thu
  • 14°C
  • 9°C
  • Fri
  • 17°C
  • 8°C

Earliest Austen manuscript fetches $1.6 million at auction

The earliest surviving Jane Austen manuscript, a handwritten draft for a book that was never published,...

File Picture: Auction. Picture: stock.xchng.

The earliest

surviving Jane Austen manuscript, a handwritten draft for a book that

was never published, sold for 993,250 pounds ($1.6 million) at Sotheby's

on Thursday.

The manuscript for "The Watsons" was bought by an anonymous telephone bidder for more than three times the top estimate.

Also

in the London sale focussing on rare books, the earliest codified rules

of soccer, part of the archive of the oldest football club in the

world, Sheffield FC, fetched 881,250 pounds.

Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby's senior specialist in the books and manuscript department, said he was delighted with the Austen sale.

"The

sale of The Watsons has afforded an extremely broad audience an insight

into the author's writing process and reworkings, which this manuscript

uniquely displays," he said.

The

manuscript comprises 68 pages, arranged in 11 loose gatherings and

written in Austen's small hand, peppered with revisions throughout.

Probably

written in 1804, it tells the story of Emma Watson, the youngest of

four sisters who is raised by a wealthy aunt but then forced to return

to her family while two of her sisters search for husbands.

The

novel is only a quarter complete but critic Margaret Drabble described

it as "a tantalising, delightful and highly accomplished fragment, which

must surely have proved the equal of her other six novels, had she

finished it."

The Watsons contains

themes found in other Austen works and also displays her wit, with lines

such as: "Female economy will do a great deal, my Lord, but it cannot

turn a small income into a large one."

"The

Watsons is quintessential Jane Austen in style and the influence of

this novel on her later works can clearly be seen," Heaton said.

It

was Austen's only literary work during the period between finishing

"Northanger Abbey" in 1799 and starting "Mansfield Park" in 1811.

It

is not known why Austen abandoned the manuscript, though it was

possibly related to her father's death in 1805. Austen had told her

sister Cassandra that the father in the novel, Mr Watson, would die in

the course of the story.

The

Sheffield soccer sale included handwritten drafts from 1858 and the only

existing copy of the printed "Rules, Regulations, & Laws of the

Sheffield Foot-Ball Club" dating from 1859, two years after the club was

formed.

The rules offer an

insight into the evolution of the game and state that pushing or hitting

the ball with the hands was permitted, as was pushing other players,

though tripping others up was prohibited.

Sheffield pioneered the idea of football as a spectator sport and the idea of inter-club matches with strong rivalries.

"We

are delighted with the sale of this extraordinary piece of sporting

history, the proceeds of which will allow Sheffield Football Club to

develop its facilities and secure its future as the home of grass-roots

football," club chairman Richard Tims said in a statement.