It's probably a fatal admission of English major geek-a-tude, but my pulse quickened when I discovered Oxford's Bodleian Library and King's College London have collaborated to post some of Jane Austin's original manuscripts. For me, it is tantamount to resting my fingertips on the keys of Hunter S. Thompson's IBM Selectric typewriter, if he hadn't blasted it with a twelve-gauge.
It's a fascinating collection and well produced. If one wants to see a writer hard at work, then no better example can be found than taking a look at the opening of chapter ten of Persuasion. Ms. Austin scarsely left a single word on that page untouched.
Included in the collection is an especially delicious item: the outlines for Mansfield Park and Emma.
So, in these small years of the twenty-first century, I'm rather inured by the hustle and bustle of the internets but, every now and then, I can just about make out some measure of merit there. Today is one of those days.