Jane Austen’s “Sanditon” is highly significant as it was clearly intended to be a work that might secure her reputation long after her death. It ultimately succeeded by creating a rivalry between Anna Lefroy and James Edward Austen Leigh (and others nieces and nephews) as to who would honour their late aunt.
With all the characters drawn in outline, but not filled in, and with their financial relationships to each other sufficient to drive a plot, it was clearly a template left to inspire other writers to take up. Anna was the first to take up the challenge, as surely Jane intended. On Tuesday 13th December 1977 the Anna Lefroy manuscripts relating to her aunt Jane Austen were sold at Sotheby Parke-Burnet in New York as detailed below:- Lots 266, 267 and 269 will come under the hammer again at Sotheby’s in London in their Manuscripts and Printed Books sale in December 2016.
Anna Lefory’s manuscripts went for £10,000 to a buyer from the Far East.
He graciously agreed to the manuscripts being exhibited at King’s College Cambridge for the first time with the original Austen manuscripts in connection with The Trinity College Cambridge “Sanditon200” Conference 31st March 2017.