Folio 1r

declined by Return of Post


I have in my possession a Manuscript Novel, comprised in three Vol.s about the length of Miss Burney's Evelina. As I am well aware of what consequence it is that a work of this sort should make it’s first appearance under a respect: :table name I apply to you. Shall be much obliged therefore if you will inform me whether you choose to be concerned in it; what will be the expense of publishing at the Author’s risk; & what you will venture to advance for the Property of it, if on a perusal it is approved of? Should your answer give me encouragement I will send you the work.

Steventon near Overton Hants
Folio 1v

Letter from to2 Mr Cadell from Jane’s father offering Pride & Prejudice. Which was declined by return1 This note was written in a later hand.

Folio 2v

I am pretty weak in health and work a good deal in the garden, but for these last 3 or 4 weeks have had a[?] Weakness in my Eyes; it was luck for you it did not come sooner, for I could not now make petticoats pockets & dressing gowns for any Bride expectant I can not bear[?] my spectacles, and therefore can do hardly any work but knitting white yarn and platting white willow. I write & read without spectacles, and therefore do but little of either – We have a good appearance of flowers in the shrubbery and borders, & what is still better, a very good crop of small fruit, even your goosberry tree does better than heretofore, when they gooseberries are ripe I shall sit upon my Bench, eat them & think of you, tho I own to that without the assistance of ripe gooseberries; indeed my dear Anna, there is nobody I think of oftener, very few I love better – my Eyes are tired so I must quit you – farewell

Folio 2r
My dear Anna

– I am very much obliged to you for sending your MS. It has entertained me extremely, all of us indeed; I read it aloud to your G.M. – & Aunt.C. – and we were all very much pleased. – The Spirit does not droop at all. Sir Tho: - Lady Helena, & St. Julian are very well done - & Cecilia continues to be interesting inspite of her being so amiable. – It was very fit that you should advance her age. I like the beginning of D. Forester very much – a great deal better than if he had been very Good or very Bad. – a few verbal connections were all that I felt tempted to make – the principal of them is a speech of St. Julians to Lady Helena – which you will see I have presumed to alter. – As Lady H. is Cecilia’s superior, it would not be correct to to talk of her being introduced; Celia must be the person intro- -duced – and I do not like a Lover’s speaking in the 3.d person; - it is too much like the formal part of Lord Orville, & I think is not natural. If you think differently however, you need not mind me. – I am impatient for more – & only wait for a safe conveyance to return this Book –

Miss Austen Steventon

Folio 3r
My dear Anna

I am quite ashamed to find that I have never answered some questions of yours in a former note. - I kept the note on purpose to refer to it at a proper time, & then forgot it. – I like the name “Which is the heroine?” very well, & I dare say shall grow to like it very much in time but “Enthusiasm” was something so very superior that every common Title must appear to disadvantage. – I am not sensible of any Blunders about Dawlish. The Library was particularly pitiful & wretched 12 years ago, & not likely to have anybody’s publication. – There is no such Title as Desborough – either among the Dukes, Marquisses, Earls, Viscounts or Barons. – These were your enquiries. – I will now thank you for your Envelope, received this morning. – I hope Mr. W. D will come. – I can readily imagine Mrs. H. D may be very like a profligate young Lord – I dare say the likeness will be “beyond everything”. Your Aunt Cass: – is as well pleased with St. Julian as ever. I am delighted with the idea of seeing Progillian again. Wednesday 17. – We have just finished the 1st. of the 3 Books I had the pleasure of receiving yesterday; I read it aloud – & we were all very much amused, & like the quite as well as ever. – I depend upon getting Folio 3v through another book before dinner, but there is really a great deal of respectable reading in your 48 pages. I was an hour about it. – I have no doubt that 6 will make a very good sized volume. – You must be quite pleased to have accomplished so much. – I like Lord P. & his Brother very much; - I am only afraid that Lord P. –‘s good nature will make most people like him better than he deserves. – The whole Portman family are very good – & Lady Anne, who was your great dread, you have succeeded particularly well with. – Bell Griffin is just what she should be. – My Connections have not been more important than before; - here & there, we have thought the sense might be expressed in fewer words – and I have scratched out his Tho: from walking with the other men to the stables &c the very day after his breaking his arm – for though I find your Papa did walk out immediately after his arm was set, I think it can be so little usual as to appear unnatural in a book – & it does not seem to be material that Sir Tho: should go with them. – Lyme will not do. Lyme is towards 40 miles distance from Dawlish & would not be talked of there. – I have put Starcross indeed. – If you prefer Exeter, that must be always safe. – I have also scratched out the Intro= =duction between Lord P. & his Brother, & Mr. Griffin. Folio 4r A Country Surgeon (dont tell Mr. C. Lyford) would not Be introduced to Men of their rant. – And when Mr. Portman is first brought in, he would not be introduced as the Honourable. – That distinction is never mentioned at such times; - at least I believe not. – Now, we have finished the 2d book – or rather the 5th. – I do think you had better omit Lady Helena’s postscript; to those who are acquainted with P. & P. it will seem an imitation. – And your Aunt C. & I both recommend your making a little alteration in the last scene between Devereux F. & Lady Clanmurray & her Daughter. We think they press him too much – more than sensible Women or well-bred Women would do. Lady C. at least, should have discretion enough to be sooner satisfied with his determination of not going with them. – I am very much pleased with Egerton[?] as yet. – I did not expect to like him, but I do; & Susan is a very nice little animated Creature – but St. Julian is the delight of one’s Life. He is quite interesting. – The whole of his Break-off with Lady H is very well done. – Yes – Russel Square is a very proper distance from Berkeley St. – We are reading the last book. – They must be two days going from Dawlish to Bath; they are nearly 100 miles apart,. Thursday. We finished it last night, after our return from drinking tea at the Gt. House. – The last chapter does not please us quite so well, we do not thoroughly like the Play; perhaps from having had too much of Plays in that way lately. – And we think you had better not leave England. Let the Portmans go to Ireland, but as you know nothing of the manners there, you had better not go with them. You will be in danger of giving false representations. Stick Folio 4v ( to Bath & the Foresters. There you will be quite at home. – Your Aunt .C. does not like desultory novels, & is rather fearful yours will be too much so, that there will be frequent as change of ^from one set of people to another, & that circumstances will be some: :times introduced of apparent consequence which will lead to nothing. – It will not be so great an objection to me, if it does. I allow much more Latitude than she does - & think Nature & Spirit cover many sins of a wandering story – and People in general do not care so much about it – for your comfort I should like to have had more of Devereux. I do not feel e: :nough acquainted with him. – You were afraid of meddling with him. I dare say. – I like your sketch of Lord Clanmurray, And your picture of the two poor young girls enjoyments is very good. – I have not yet noticed St. Julian’s serious conver: :sation with Cecilia, but I liked it exceedingly; - what he says about the madness of otherwise sensible women, on the subject of their Daughters coming out, is worth it’s weight in gold.- I do not see that the language sinks. Pray go on.

Twice you have put Dorsetshire for Devonshire. I have altered it.- M.r Griffins must have lived in Devonshire; Dawlish is half way down the Country.-

Folio 3r

There bits of Irish belong to you. – They have been in my work bag ever since you. were here, & I think they may as well go to their right owner.

Folio 4v
48 5 2402 These numbers appear to be a calculation multiplying 48 by 5 to obtain the answer 240. It is unclear what this calculation is in reference to.

Miss Austen

Folio 5r
My dear Anna

We have been very much amused by your 3books, but I have a good many Criticisms to make - morethan you will like. We are not satisified with Mrs F's settlingherself as Tenant & near Neighbour to such a Man as Sir J. H. with-out having some other inducement to go there; she ought to havesome friend living thereabouts to tempt her. A woman, going withtwo girls just growing up, into a Neighbourhood where she knowsnobody but one Man, of not very good character, is an awkwardnesswhich so prudent a woman as Mrs F. would not be likely to fall into Remember she is very prudent; you must not let her act incon:sistently. Give her a friend, & let that friend be invited to meether at the Priory, & we shall have no objection to her diningthere as she does; but otherwise, a woman in her situationwould hardly go there, before she had been invited by other Fa:milies. I like the scene itself, the Miss Lesleys, Lady Anne,& the Music, very much. Lesley is a noble name.Sir J. H. you always do very well; I have only taken theliberty of expunging one phrase of his, which would notbe allowable. "Bless my Heart." This is too familiar & inelegant.Your G. M. is more disturbed at Mrs F.'s not returningthe Egertons visit sooner, than anything else. They ought tohave called at the Parsonage before Sunday.

Folio 5v F. is not careful enough of Susan's health; Susanought not to be walking out so soon after Heavy rains, takinglong walks in the dirt. An anxious Mother would notsuffer it. I like your Susan very much indeed, she is asweet Creature, her playfulness of fancy is very delightful. I likeher as she is now exceedingly, but I am not so well satisified withher behviour to George R. At first she seemed all over attach=ment & feeling, & afterwards to have none at all; she is so ex::tremely composed at the Ball, & so well satisified apparentlywith Mr Morgan. She seems to have changed her Character.You are now collecting your People delightfully, getting them ex:actly into such a spot as is the delight of my life;-3 or 4Families in a Country Village is the very thing to work on -& I hope you will write a great deal more, & make fulluse of them while they are so very favourably arranged.You are but now coming to the heart & beauty of yourbooks; till the heroine grows up, the fun must be im:perfect - but I expect a great deal of entertainment from thenext 3 or 4 books, & I hope you will not resent theseremarks by sending me no more. We like the Egertonsvery well, we see no Blue Pantaloons, or Cocks & Hens;there is nothing to enchant one; certainly in Mr.L.L. butwe make no objection to him, & his inclination to likeSusan is pleasing. The sister is a good contrast but thename of Rachael is as much as I can bear. They are Folio 6r not so much like the Papillons as I expected. Your last chapteris very entertaining - the conversation on genius &c. Mr St J._ &Susan both talk in character & very well. In some formerparts, Cecilia is perhaps a little too solemn & good, but upon thewhole, her disposition is very well opposed to Susan's _ her wantof Imagination is very good natural. I wish you could make Mrs. more, but she must be difficult to manage & makeentertaining, because there is so much good common sence &propreity about her that nothing can be very broad. Hereconomy & her ambition must not be staring. _ The Papersleft by Mrs. Fisher is very good. _ Of course, one guesses some:thing. I hope when you have written a great deal moreyou will be equal to scratching out some of the past. Thescene with Mrs Mellish, I should condemn; it isprosy & nothing to the purpose - & indeed, themore you can find in your heart to curtail betweenDawlish & Newton Priors, the better I think it will be.One does not care for girls till they are grown up.Your Aunt C. quite enters into the exquisitiveness of thatname. Newton Priors is really a Nonpareil._Milton wouldhave given his eyes to have thought of it._Is not theCottage taken from Tollard Royal?_

Sunday 18th_I am very glad dear Anna, that I wroteas I did before this [--]d Event occurred. I have now onlyto add that [your] G.Mama does not seem the worsefor the shock_I shall be very happy torecieve more of your work, if more is ready; & you write so fast, that I have great hopes Mr. D. willcome freighted back with such a Cargo as not all hisHopes or his Sheep could equal the valueof.

Folio 6v

Your Grandmama desires me to say that she will havefinished your Shoes tomorrow & thinks they will look verywell; - and that she depends upon seeing you, as youpromise before you quit the Country, & hopes youwill give her more than a day _

Yrs affec:lyJ.Austen

Miss AustenMiss AustenMis

Folio 7r
My dear Anna

I hope you do not depend on having your bookback again immediately. I keep it that your G:mama may hearit -for it has not been possible yet to have any public reading.I have read it to your Aunt Cassandra however _ in our ownroom at night, while we undressed and with a great deal ofpleasure. We like the first chapter extremely _ with only a littledoubt whether Lady Helena is not almost too foolish. The ma:trimonial Dialogue is very good certainly. _ I like Susan aswell as ever_ & begin now not to care at all about Ceciliashe may stay at Easton Court as long as she likes. _HenryMellish I am afraid will be too much in the common NovelStyle - a handsome, amiable, unexceptionable Young Man(such as do not much abound in real life) desperately inLove & all in vain. But I have no business to judge himso early. _ Jane Egerton is a very natural, comprehendableGirl - & the whole of her acquaintance with Susan & Susan'sLetter to Cecilia, very pleasing & quite in character._ButMiss Egerton does not entirely satisfy us. She is too formal& solemn, we think, in her advice to her Brother not to fallin love; & it is hardly like a sensible Woman; it is puttingit into his head. _ We should like a few hints from herbetter._

Folio 7v

We feel really obliged to you for introducing a Lady Kenrickit will remove the greatest fault in the works, & I give youcredit for considerable forbearance as an author in adoptingso much of our opinion._ I expect high fun about Mrs Fisher& Sir Thomas. _ You have been perfectly right in telling Ben of your works, & I am very glad to hear how much helikes it. His encouragement & approbation must be quite"beyond everything"._ I do not all wonder at his not ex::pecting to like anybody so well as Cecilia at first, butI shall be surprised if he does not become a Susan-ite intime. Devereux Forester's being ruined by his Vanity isextremely good; but I wish you would not let him plungeinto a "vortex of Dissipation". I do not object to the Thing,but I cannot bear the expression; - it is such thorough novel slang - and so old, that I dare say Adam metwith it in the first novel he opened. _ Indeed I didvery much like to know Ben's opinion._ I hope he willcontinue to be pleased with it, I think he must - butI cannot flatter him with their being much Incident.We have no great right to wonder at his not valueingthe name of Progillian. That is a source of delight whichhe hardly ever can be quite competent to._ Walter Scotthas no business to write novels, especially good ones. Itis not fair._

Folio 8r

He has Fame & Profit enough as a Poet and should notbe taking the bread out of other people's mouths._ I donot like him, & do not mean to like Waverley if I canhelp it_ but fear I must. I am quite determined howevernot to be pleased with Mrs West's Alicia de Lacy, should Ihave made up my mind to like no Novels really, butMiss Edgeworth's, yours & my own.

What can you do with Egerton to increase the interest for him?I wish you could continue something, some family occurrence todraw out his good qualities more - some distress amongBrothers or Sisters to relieve by the sale of his Curacy-something to [...][teared] him mysteriously away, & thenheard of at York or Edinburgh in an old great Coat I would notseriously recommend anything Improbable, but if you cdinvent something spirited for him, it cd have a goodeffect. He might lend all his Money to Captn Morris_but then he wd be a great fool if he did. Cannot theMorrises quarrel & he reconcile them? Excuse the libertyI take in these suggestions.

Your Aunt Frank's Housemaid has just given her warning,but whether she is worth your having on or wd. take your placeI know not._ She was Mrs. Webb's maid before she went to theGreat House. She leaves your Aunt, because she cannot agreewith her fellow servants. She is in love with the Man& her head seems rather turned; he returns her affection,but he fancies every body else is wanting to get himtoo, & envying her.

Folio 8v

Her previous service must have fitted her for such a place asyours elf & she is very active & cleanly. _ She is own sisterto the favourite Beatrice. The Webbs are really gone. RatherI saw the Waggons at the door, & thought of all the trouble theyhave in moving, I began to reproach myself for nothaving liked them better - but since the Waggons havedisappeared, my conscience has been closed again & I am excessively glad they are gone.I am very fond of Sherlock's Sermons, prefer themto almost any.

Your affecte Aunt,J. Austen

If you wish me to speak to the Maid, let me know.-

Folio 9r
My dear Anna

I have been very far fromfinding your Book an Evil I assure you; I read it immediately - & with great pleas::sure. I think you are going on verywell. The description of Dr Griffin &Lady Helena's unhappiness is very good,just what was likely to be. I am curiousto know what the end of them will be.The name of Newton-Priors is really invaluable! I never met with anythingsuperior to it._ It is delightful._ Onecould live upon the name of Newton--Priors for a twelvemonth._ Indeed, Ido think you get on very fast. I wishother people of of any acquaintance couldcompose as rapidly._ I am pleasedwith the Dog scene, & with the wholeof George & Susan's Love; but areMore particularly stuck with yourserious conversations &c._ They areFolio 9vvery good throughout… St Julian'sHistory was quite a surprise to me;You had not very long known it your:self I expect - but I have no objectionto make to the circumstance - it isvery well told_ & his having beenin love with the Aunt gives Ceciliaan additional Interest with him. Ilike the Idea: a very proper compliment to an Aunt! I rather imagineindeed that Neices are seldom chosenbut in compliment to some Aunt or otherI daresay Ben was in love with meonce & would never have thought of Youif he had not supposed me dead of ascarlet fever._ Yes, I was in amistake as to the number of BooksI thought I had read 3 before the 3at Chawton; but fewer than 6 willnot do. I want to see dear BellGriffin again._ Had not you bettergive some hint of St Julian's early

About this text

Title: Jane & George Austen, Letters
Author: Jane Austen, George Austen, Cassandra Austen.
Edition: Taylor edition
Series: Taylor Editions: Manuscript
Editor: Edited by Simone Gaddes; Edited by Georgie Moore; Manuscript description by Stewart Tiley


Oxford, St John's College Library, MS 279


Five letters from Jane Austen (novelist, 1775-1817) to her niece Anna Austen, (later Lefroy, 1793-1872), dated to 1814 and offering advice on writing a novel. Prefaced with a letter of 1797 from Jane’s father, George Austen (1731-1805), apparently to Thomas Cadell (the Younger?, bookseller, 1773-1836). These letters remained in the Lefroy family until those from Jane were donated to the College by Anna’s grand-daughter, Mary Isabella Lefroy in 1939. Miss L.L. Lefroy donated the letter from George Austen in 1940.

  • Item 1 (fol. 1, between leaves 3 & 4 of guard book): Autograph letter. Single quarto leaf, 228 x 184 mm. Date: November 1st, 1797. Sender’s address: “Steventon near Overton, Hants.” From George Austen enquiring about the expense of publishing a three volume novel, whose manuscript he has in his possession, and whether the recipient would choose to be concerned in the venture. With the legend “declined by Return of Post” at its head in a similar hand. In a later hand on the verso: “letter from to M. Cadell from Jane’s Father offering Pride & Prejudice which was declined by return.”
  • Item 2 (fol. 2, between leaves 6 & 7 of guard book): Final leaf of an autograph letter. Single quarto leaf, 219 x 182 mm, with wafer seal. Undated but endorsed? 1814. From Cassandra & Jane Austen to Anna Austen, addressed to “Miss Austen, Steventon.” The final leaf of a letter from Jane’s mother, Cassandra (1739-1827), to her grand-daughter, referring to her good health and efforts at gardening, whilst also bemoaning her eyesight. She makes a passing reference to Anna’s impending marriage. On the verso, on either side of the address panel, Jane appends her contribution saying that the family has read Anna’s manuscript and enjoyed it, and offers encouragement and advice.
  • Item 3 (fols 3-4, between leaves 10 & 11 of guard book): Autograph letter. Two quarto leaves, 224 x 182 mm. Date: Chawton Wednesday Aug. 10. From Jane Austen to Anna Austen, addressed to “Miss Austen.” Jane apologizes for leaving some of Anna’s queries unanswered, and then answers them. Provides more encouragement and advice regarding the most recent instalment of Anna’s novel, particularly regarding the proposed title, “Enthusiasm.” Updates on the following Wednesday,
  • England, 1797 & 1814 17th, and Thursday (18th?) inform Anna that the family have finished reading her manuscript which they enjoyed although they were not as pleased with the last chapter. Jane offers more advice on the location of Dawlish and other matters.
  • Item 4 (fols 5-6, between leaves 12 & 13 of guard book): Autograph letter. Two quarto leaves, 227 x 186 mm, with wafer seal. Date: Chawton Sept 9. From Jane Austen to Anna Austen, addressed to “Miss Austen.” Jane continues to enjoy a further 3 books of Anna’s novel, but has “a good many criticisms to make – more than you will like.” During her discussion she mentions her ideal of a novel – “3 or 4 families in a country village is the very thing to work on.” An update on Sunday 18th makes reference to the death of her brother’s wife in childbirth and her mother’s fortitude, and also passes on a message from her mother that she has now finished Anna’s shoes and looks forward to seeing her before Anna leaves the country.
  • Item 5 (fols 7-8, between leaves 13 & 14 of guard book): Autograph letter. Two quarto leaves, 222 x 182 mm. Date: Chawton Wednesday Sept 28. From Jane Austen to Anna Austen, addressed to “Miss Austen, Steventon.” Jane offers continuing criticism, encouragement and advice regarding Anna’s novel. This takes in brief allusions to her assessments of other novelists and novels, including Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley, Mrs West’s Alicia de Lacy and Maria Edgworth. Enquires after Anna’s fiancée’s, Benjamin Lefroy, opinions of the book. Also mentions the impending departure of “Your Aunt Frank’s housemaid” and enquires as to whether Anna might be interested in taking her on. Brief allusions to the rather welcome departure of the Webb family from Chawton and her fondness for Thomas Sherlock’s sermons.
  • Item 6 (fol. 9, between leaves 19 & 20 of guard book): First leaf of autograph letter. One octavo leaf, 184 x 114 mm. Date: Ham Place Wednesday [30th November]. From Jane Austen to Anna Austen, now Lefroy. Jane continues advice and encouragement to Anna on her novel. She teases Anna regarding a plot device in which one character has been in love with an aunt: “I dare say Ben was in love with me once ... .” The letter cuts off mid text, this is the last folio in the Library's collection.

Physical description

Materials: Paper. Fol. 9 leaves mounted in a guard book of 25 leaves (later pencil foliation to each leaf of letter: 9 leaves). Letters of various sizes tipped into volume with page area 253 x 211 mm.



20th c. blue leather half bound with blue buckram over millboard, with gilt fillets to the joins. Spine divided into 6 compartments by 5 raised bands. Gold-stamped shelf mark in top compartment, and single gilt fillets at top and bottom of spine. 263 x 228 mm.



Written in England in 1797 and 1814


On front pastedown 20th c. bookplate of St John’s College, and also current shelfmark, in 20th c. pencil.


Information transcribed from Stewart Tiley, Catalogue of Western Modern Manuscripts (unpublished draft) Record 279..

  1. Austen, Jane. Jane Austen’s letters, ed. Deirdre Le Faye. 3rd ed. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1995. Letter nos 103, 104, 107, 108 &113.
  2. Austen, Jane. Jane Austen’s manuscript letters in facsimile, ed. Jo Modert. Carbondale, Southern Illinois University Press, 1990.
  3. Le Faye, Deirdre, 1988. ‘Jane Austen: some letters re-dated.’ Notes and Queries. Vol. 232, no. 4 (Feb. 1988), pp. 478-481.
  4. Austen-Leigh, William & Richard Arthur, 1913. Jane Austen : her life and letters, a family record. London, Smith Elder, 1913.


The digital edition of MS 279 covers three of a collection of six letters written by Jane Austen (novelist, 1775-1817) and members of her family. The letters were held by the Lefroy family until Mary Isabella Lefroy, Anna Lefroy’s (née Austen, 1793-1872) grand-daughter, donated those written by Jane to St John’s College in 1939. Miss L. L Lefroy later donated the letter from George Austen (1731-1805) to the college in 1940.

The first of the letters was written by Jane’s father, George Austen, to the bookseller Thomas Cadwell (1773-1836). The letter enquires about publishing one of Jane’s manuscripts, which, according to a later hand on the verso, eventually became Pride and Prejudice (1813). As it is noted to have been ‘decline by Return of Post’, it is uncertain if Cadwell ever read George’s letter.

The second letter is the final leaf of a letter from Cassandra Austen (née Leigh, 1739-1827), Jane’s mother, to her granddaughter, Anna Lefroy. In the letter, Cassandra writes of her good health and gardening efforts, while also referring to her declining eyesight and Anna’s recent marriage. On the verso of Cassandra’s letter is a letter from Jane also to Anna Lefroy, who was her niece. Jane thanks Anna, a budding author, for sending her manuscript and expresses that her family enjoyed it. She offers Anna advice and encourages her to write more. This letter is written on both sides of the address panel.

The third letter is written from Jane to Anna. Jane offers further encouragement about Anna’s manuscript, including her opinions about Anna’s title choices. She provides Anna advice regarding geographical locations and how characters of certain ranks should address each other. The final leaf of the letter is written around the address panel.

About this edition

This is a facsimile and transcription of Jane & George Austen, Letters..

The transcription was encoded in TEI P5 XML by Simone Gaddes and Georgie Moore.


Publication: Taylor Institution Library, one of the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford, 2021-2022. XML files are available for download under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License . The images are reproduced from St John's College Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License .

Source edition

Jane & George Austen, Letters 1797-1814

Editorial principles

Created by encoding transcription from manuscript.

This is a diplomatic transcription of three Jane Austen's letters in St John’s College Library & Study Centre’s special collections. Austen’s original spellings and punctuation have been maintained throughout, as well as contractions and nicknames. All legible text has been included, semi-legible words or phrases have been marked as ‘unclear’. The letters have been transcibed in the order they were intended to be read. Postscripts have been included at the end of their respective letter, rather than the leaf they were originally written on. Links to WikiData webpages have been included for places and persons mentioned in the text, unless unidentifiable or in reference to fictional characters. This edition includes choice elements which corrects spellings and expands contractions, creating a semi-diplomatic version of the letters.