I'm terribly bad at self - correction, especially when it comes to typos and spelling. This is why I used Grammarly to grammar check this post.If I am correcting and assessing my students' works or papers, I am almost impeccable, but if it is myself, my own writing I have to check ... no way: I'm almost blind to my own mispelling. This is why I have been very happy when I discovered I shared this problem with my beloved Jane Austen!
Kathryn Sutherland, an English professor at Oxford University, examined 1,100 handwritten pages of unpublished works by the writer of Pride and Prejudice, who died in 1817.She says the manuscripts have plenty of "blots, crossings out, messiness," and that Austen "broke most of the rules for writing good English."
Sutherland said letters from Austen's publisher indicate editor William Gifford was heavily involved in making sense of Austen's scribblings, helping mould the style of her late novels Emma and Persuasion.Apparently, Gifford was not involved in the earlier books, Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice.
"In fact, the style in these novels is much closer to Austen's manuscript hand," Sutherland adds.Sutherland doubts her findings will blot Austen's reputation. It only serves to call into question the claim by Austen's brother Henry that "everything came finished from her pen.""In reading the manuscripts, it quickly becomes clear that this delicate precision is missing," she notes.
In fact, Austen's unpublished works show she was "even better at writing dialogue and conversation than the edited style of her published novels suggest."Austen's handwritten manuscripts are online at www.janeausten.ac.uk, the result of a three-year project to digitize the author's unpublished work.