Condition Assessment of the Jane Austen Manuscripts

Condition Assessment of the Jane Austen Manuscripts

Current Projects

By Keira Mckee

An important stage in the treatment of any object is for the conservator to thoroughly assess the object “as is” before any work gets underway, if any work is in fact needed. In the books conservation department, we fill out a condition and treatment report that documents the exact condition of a book, when received by the conservator, identifying all issues that may require attention. As times goes on, all work will also be logged in this same document so that a thorough report can go back with the book to the owner, and possibly inform future treatments if another conservator works with the book in the future.

I was asked by David Dorning to create a condition report for the sample of Jane Austen handwriting that the department has been commissioned to treat. You can read about the project here.

The full condition report is…

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Previewing Persuasions

JASNA has posted a link to the table of contents for volume 30 (2008) of the Jane Austen Society of North America’s journal Persuasions. This annual is a peer-reviewed journal, featuring both articles based on papers presented at the October AGMs (Annual General Meeting; in 2008 it took placed in Chicago) and ‘miscellany’ — which includes my own article on the 1833 Austen-Smith journey to Derbyshire: they travelled pretty much in the shoes of Elizabeth Bennet! Watch the JASNA website, for I have been told the article might be posted on their “maps” page (a very interesting and quite useful resource, now augmented with related articles on places and travel pulled from the Persuasions archive).

Life in the Country (a review)

life-in-the-country-coverIn time for holiday giving, Life in the Country should find a pleasant reception. Pairing the prose and letters of Jane Austen (in quotation format) with the fine artistic narrative of her nephew James Edward Austen-Leigh, Life in the Country provides visuals and words that both entertain and entrance. Accompanying essays provide nice overviews of Jane Austen; silhouettes in general and Austen-Leigh’s work within the genre; and a concise discourse on Austen-Leigh by his great-granddaughter Joan Austen-Leigh. Serious scholars will be able to delve deeper into various topics thanks to the short bibliography. (Though heavily centered on Austen scholarship, the list does include such as Sue McKechnie’s British Silhouette Artists, a must-have reference for those interested in this art form.)

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