1. Headline
  1. Headline
updated 7/14/2011 10:42:33 AM ET 2011-07-14T14:42:33

An unfinished early Jane Austen manuscript sold at auction in London on Thursday for almost $1.6 million, triple its highest pre-sale estimate.

  1. Stories from
    1. Kellan Lutz Does Crazy Workout Hanging Off a Cliff, Warns 'Don't Try This at Home'
    2. Justin Bieber Explains to Jimmy Fallon Why He Got Emotional During the VMAs
    3. President Obama Busts Out Some New Dance Moves with Native Alaskan Kids
    4. Josh Gad to Play Roger Ebert in Film About the Making of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
    5. FROM EW: Jimmy Kimmel reads 'cryptic and menacing' threats from the gaming community

The draft of "The Watsons" sold for 993,250 pounds, or $1.601 million. The price includes a buyer's premium.

The auction house said the document sold to an anonymous buyer after extended four-way bidding in the salesroom.

The incomplete work is the earliest surviving manuscript for a novel by Austen, probably written in 1804 but not published in Austen's lifetime. Austen died in 1817 at age 41.

Story: Academic: Jane Austen was poor speller, grammarian

It centers on a family of four sisters, the daughters of a widowed clergyman.

Sotheby's books specialist Gabriel Heaton said the heavily corrected draft "has afforded an extremely broad audience an insight into the author's writing process and reworkings."

Sotheby's says it is the only major manuscript by the author still in private hands.

Six Austen novels were published, including "Pride and Prejudice," but none of the original manuscripts survives.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. @HillaryClinton/twitter

    Hillary Clinton: Granddaughter led me 'to speed up' political plans

    4/10/2015 3:58:42 PM +00:00 2015-04-10T15:58:42
  1. Courtesy Bryan Morseman

    Marathon dad's victories help raise money for son with spina bifida

    4/10/2015 5:54:50 PM +00:00 2015-04-10T17:54:50
  1. YouTube

    8 great celebrity impressions of other celebrities

    4/10/2015 6:44:22 PM +00:00 2015-04-10T18:44:22