15 Jul 2011

Austen manuscript sold for £993,250

9:41 am on 15 July 2011

A rare Jane Austen manuscript has sold at aunction in London for £993,250.

The manuscript was purchased by the Bodelian Libraries of Oxford.

Sotheby's originally valued the unfinished novel, entitled The Watsons, at £200,000 - £300,000.

It is thought Austen wrote the tale, about a young woman who returns home to her father's household after being brought up by a wealthy aunt, in 1804.

The BBC reports the work is particularly important because few of Austen's draft works have survived.

Sotheby's specialist Gabriel Heaton said this piece of Austen's work is ''very much a working draft''.

Every page is littered with crossings out, revisions and additional text between some of the lines.

Austen published six complete novels, including Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. She died in 1817 at the age of 41.