All Hail This Newly Discovered Scrap of Jane Austen's Handwriting


Brace yourselves, Jane Austen cultists: A scrap of writing from the author’s very own hand has been discovered in the U.K., stuck in a first edition of her nephew’s The Memoirs of Jane Austen. Meanwhile, I never find anything crammed into my books but Duane Reade receipts.

The Guardian has the fragment, discovered recently by the folks at the Jane Austen’s House Museum:

“Men may get into a habit of repeating the words of our Prayers by rote, perhaps without thoroughly understanding – certainly without thoroughly feeling their full force & meaning.”

Don’t everybody photoshop Jane into a MISANDRY t-shirt all at once!

It sure sounds like Jane, but it’s not actually her work—according to the piece of paper it was stuck onto, it’s from one of her brother’s sermons (which she used to write out). “Maybe the whole Austen family felt the same way,” says conservator David Dorning, who’s handing the scrap.

But Dorning and his colleagues say there’s something written on the other side. It’s just going to take a little legwork to uncover it: “We do need to be careful, so we are planning to carefully humidify it, rather than put it in a bowl of water.” It’ll probably be more of the same sermon, but maybe it’ll be a desperate message to the future, urging J.K. Rowling to let Hermoine take a gap year or something instead of immediately marrying Ron, Harry or anyone else.

(h/t Flavorwire)

Photo via AP Images

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