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Jane Austen Needed a Good Editor

In 1818, Jane Austen‘s brother Henry Thomas Austen praised his sister, writing: “Everything came finished from her pen.” Since then, Austen has been well known for her highly-polished prose. However, new evidence has surfaced disputing Henry’s claim.

In an interview with NPR, Oxford University professor Kathryn Sutherland explained how she analyzed more than 1,000 handwritten Austen pages and found that they are littered with misspellings and grammar errors. Sutherland quoted Austen’s editor, William Gifford about a draft of Emma:  “It is very carelessly copied. Though the handwriting is excellently plain and there are many short omissions which must be inserted, I will readily correct the proof for you.”

Austen’s Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility have been re-written by 21st Century editors, adding zombies and sea monsters into the classic stories. In August, Emma received the same treatment from Wayne Josephson with Emma and the Vampires.

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Novel Writing: Editing Your Draft

Novel Writing: Editing Your DraftStarting July 16, workshop your novel in-progress with a published author! Erika Mailman's course will function as a workshop, with the emphasis on sharing your work for review and providing critiques for your peers. By the end of this class you'll have up to 75 pages of you novel workshopped and developed patterns to improve your writing. Register now!