The Bodleian Library has published this article on its website which gives some details about the purchasing of The Watsons manuscript.
The article reveals that financial arrangements in place to purchase the manuscript were rather more complex than has previously been realised, with many other organisations, including the Jane Austen Memorial Trust, helping towards the total purchase price ( which is now confusingly reported to be over £1 million):
The acquisition which cost in excess of £1 million was made possible with a substantial grant (£894,700) from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF). Other generous funders are the Friends of the National Libraries, the Friends of the Bodleian, Jane Austen’s House Museum (Jane Austen Memorial Trust) as well as other supporters.
Sotheby’s report on the selling of Lot 51 in its sale last Thursday can be accessed here.
It is good to report that the Bodleian Library has plans to put the manuscript on show:
We will make the manuscript available to the general public who can come and see it as early as this autumn when The Watsons will indeed be a star item in our forthcoming exhibition Treasures of the Bodleian. Our thanks go to all our supporters for their enormous generosity in supporting this purchase and in recognising the importance of keeping this priceless manuscript in a British institution…
And for the moment that ends the news on this rather interesting Janian episode. Its been an interesting few days….