Introduction to Northanger Abbey and Persuasion

The manuscript of Northanger Abbey was purchased by a Bath publisher in 1803 for £ 10, but he apparently repented of his bargain and left it to moulder in his safe. When four novels had sold with success, however, Miss Austen thought that it might be worth reclaiming, and her brother offered to repurchase it for the original £ 10. The publisher did not hesitate to resign all claim to the copyright on these terms, but we have no record of his feelings on learning afterwards that the despised manuscript was written by the author of Pride and Prejudice.

In the original manuscript of Persuasion, the re-engagement of Anne and Captain Wentworth was arranged in Admiral Croft's lodgings. This dénouement did not satisfy Miss Austen, and she was at first depressed about the whole book. But she afterwards wrote Chapters X. and XI. as we now have them, which are thus the latest, and certainly not the least brilliant, of her works. The cancelled chapter is given in Mr. Austen-Leigh's "Memoir."

R. Brimley Johnson.

R. Brimley Johnson. Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. Copyright 1906, by Everyman's Library.

This text was originally digitized by Catherine Dean for her "Jane Austen E-Texts, Etc." website, and is archived at Molland's with Ms. Dean's permission.