That snippet of handwriting pictured above is Jane Austen's earliest surviving manuscript, believed to be written in 1804. Today, it just sold from a London auction house to an anonymous telephone bidder for $1.6 million dollars--three times the estimated value, reported CNN and Reuters. The 68-page manuscript is of an unfinished novel of Austen's entitled "The Watsons," and if you peruse the document on the Sotheby's auction house website--and zoom in on the text--you can almost read the very elegant-looking handwriting. If $1.6 million for a piece of literary history seems steep, just think--it's a grand bargain compared to a $106 million Picasso.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.