A recent study by Oxford University English Professor Kathryn Sutherland revealed the truth about Austen’s spelling and grammar usage. Sutherland looked at 1,100 handwritten pages from Austen. Although Austen’s brother Henry claimed that "everything came finished from her pen," it appears that that claim was not the truth.
Sutherland read several unpublished manuscripts and found that the delicate precision of spelling and grammar is missing. In fact, there are blots and general messiness throughout. Also, Austen, like many, actually ended up breaking nearly all the rules for good English writing...
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A response from Vic at Jane Austen's World:
Even the most sheltered person will have been bombarded by these recent headlines:
Jane Austen had a helping hand!
Jane Austen had an editor!
Jane Austen had a spell checker!
Jane Austen couldn’t spell!
Jane Austen would have flunked English!
Jane Austen’s notes messy!Each headline that rolled off my RSS reader became increasingly more ridiculous. What can we expect next?
Jane Austen did not write her own novels!
Jane Austen is really a male.
Jane Austen is a fraud!
So Jane Austen’s Emma and Persuasion were heavily proofed and edited. SO WHAT!? The source for all this brouhaha is Professor Kathryn Sutherland, who, after studying 1,100 of Jane’s handwritten manuscripts up close came to the conclusion that Jane had HELP.
Continue reading the post at Jane Austen's World.
I report; you decide. :)