On 16 September 1813, novelist Jane Austen wrote a letter to her sister Cassandra – 216 years later it is to be sold at auction!
A surviving Jane Austen letter is a rare object, many letters were destroyed by her family after her death. She is believed to have written approximately 3,000 letters in her lifetime, of which, only around 160 survive and 95 of those are written to her sister Cassandra.
This letter, held in a private collection since 1909, contains plenty of gossipy family detail – Jane chatted about her nieces after a trip to the dentist, her mother’s health (and hoped she no longer needed leeches!) and she also commented on the wife of her brother’s business partner who appeared ‘in the family way. Poor woman!’
The letter goes on sale on 23 October at Bonhams in New York and is predicted to sell within the range of £65,000 to £97,000. This is outside the price range of Jane Austen’s House Museum, who previously had to crowdfund for a snippet of a letter costing £35,000.