Jane Austen letter up for sale
A previously unseen letter written by Jane Austen is on public display at the Torquay Museum before it will be put up for sale. The letter, which dates from January 1799, is estimated to reach around £200,000.
The letter was part of a collection of around 3500 documentsdonated to the museum in the 1930s which also included letters from Charlotte Bronte, John Keats and Abraham Lincoln. The letters were donated by Hester Pengelly, daughter of one of the Torquay Museum’s founders, William Pengelly.
The letter, which was written to Jane Austen’s sister Cassandra, makes reference to Austen’s novel First Impressions. It was later renamed Pride and Prejudiceand published in 1813. The letter was rediscovered in 1989 when a member of staff was examining a collection of the museum’s files.
Basil Greenwood, the museum’s director, said the funds raised would be used to secure the future of the museum. Speaking to the BBC, he said: “The museum has relied on legacies and donations from significant individuals which has kept us going for 170 years but we need to look at other ways to remain open."
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