Close
Enter your search into one or more of the boxes below:
You can refine your search by selecting from any of the options below:
Search
Your Shopping Basket
Total number of items: 0
Sub total: £0.00
Go to Checkout
Our Birmingham Shop
Our Bristol Shop
Animators Survival Kit

Jane Austen's editor 'was responsible for her style'

25th October 2010

Jane Austen's elegant writing style could be due more to an interventionist editor than the novelist's own talent, an academic has claimed.

Professor Kathryn Sutherland, of the faculty of English language and literature at the University of Oxford, analysed around 1,100 original pages of Austen's writings and found they are significantly different to her published works.

The expert explained that the 'high degree of polished punctuation and epigrammatic style' seen in Emma and Persuasion are not found in Austen's handwritten documents.

'In Austen's case, we discover a powerful counter-grammatical way of writing. She broke most of the rules for writing good English,' she continued. 'This suggests somebody else was heavily involved in the editing process between manuscript and printed book.'

Professor Sutherland also noted that letters sent between John Murray II, Austen's publisher, and his editor William Gifford reference the 'untidiness' of the novelist's work and lay out how Gifford would rectify this.

However, the academic claimed that her close examination of Austen's original writings found she was an experimental author who strove towards continuous improvement and often crafted better dialogue than is found in the published versions of her novels.

The research is published as the University of Oxford's Bodleian Library hosts a Jane Austen Day today, which will see a range of manuscripts, first editions and papers related to the novelist being placed on public display.
 

Latest Blog
Foyles' Find Your Way Through ... Depression
24/04/2017

How the tv series 13 Reasons Why and Prince Harry's revelations about his own mental health have both sparked important debates about teen wellbeing.

Meg Howrey on the Impossibility of Avoiding Science in Fiction
24/04/2017

As her new book, The Wanderers, is published, exclusively for Foyles, Meg Howrey discusses why all writers of contemporary fiction are going to have to deal with science, and the interesting things that happen between and beyond the categories.

Sara Paretsky Recalls a Childhood as the 'Town Giraffe' in Lawrence, Kansas
20/04/2017

As her new V I Warshawski novel, Fallout, is published, Sara Paretsky recalls her childhood in Lawrence, Kansas and how the town has provided the inspiration and setting for several of her novels, including Fallout.

View all Blog Entries
Twitter
Show/Hide Tweets
© W&G Foyle Ltd