Emily Friedman deposited “Becoming Catherine Morland: A Cautionary Tale of Manuscripts in the Archive” on Humanities Commons 3 years, 1 month ago
Like Catherine Morland, we all dream of discovering that a manuscript tucked away in an archive, among dusty boxes in an attic, or in a mysterious chest in our guest room is really a long-forgotten work by a beloved author. This is the story of a collector who thought he had done just that – and a scholar who almost believed it. Fair warning: there is no new Austen manuscript at the end of this tale. Nevertheless, what follows does remind us of those very Austenian values of forsaking prejudice, embracing sense, and not allowing oneself to be persuaded too easily. I will discuss the current state of research about a manuscript novel fragment, occasionally attributed to Austen, now held by Duke University’s Rubenstein Library.