Photograph: © The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
The letters are “deeply personal”, said Vanessa Wilkie, curator of English historical manuscripts at the Huntington, and although they do not mention the author of Pride and Prejudice specifically, they “will help people develop a more vivid understanding of Austen’s immediate world”. Most of Austen’s own letters were burned by her sister, after her death.
Acquired from a UK rare book and manuscript dealer, the correspondence reveals “the intimate, mundane, playful, and tragic aspects of the times”, said Wilkie. “You get a dear mother, affectionate father, dear son, dear cousin, dear brother, dear little niece, dear Madame, and even A. Nonymous, who writes a really funny letter that cautions against the dangers of falling in love with Miss Fortune.” Read more: theguardian/jane-austen-family-letters-huntington-library-1