As painful as it may be for some devotees of Jane Austen to acknowledge, everything did not, as her brother Henry claimed, come finished from her pen. Researcher Kathryn Sutherland at Oxford University has been studying a treasure trove of the original handwritten mansucripts, and has discovered a fair amount of discrepancies between the manuscripts and the printed books. Atrocious spelling errors and grammar goofs abound, and punctuation is practically non-existant, leading Sutherland to the conclusion that a very good editor used a deft hand in whipping things into shape. NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly presents the full story in her interview with Professor Sutherland on today’s broadcast of Morning Edition.
Barbara L., Reader’s Services