Reaching out across the Web .. ...分享 Zuojun Yu, physical oceanographer, freelance English editor


Do you know that Jane Austen had a great editor?

已有 2635 次阅读 2010-10-28 03:16 |个人分类:I Love NPR|系统分类:海外观察| English, editing, Jean, Austen

It is a common practice nowadays that a book author uses a language editor as well as an agent (self-publishing not included). Harry Porter’s author, J. K. Rowling, acknowledges her book editor.
However, things were different in the olden days, which is why some fans are upset when they heard that “Jane Austen had a great editor.”
"Can't remember the "i before e" rule? Don't worry, neither could Jane Austen.
The beloved novelist — author of Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Emma — is known for her polished prose, her careful phrasing and her precise grammar. "Everything came finished from her pen," Austen's brother, Henry, said in 1818, a year after his sister's death.
But now — though it may pain die-hard Austen fans — it turns out that Austen may have simply had a very good editor. Kathryn Sutherland, a professor at Oxford University, has been studying more than 1,000 original handwritten pages of Austen's prose. She's found some telling differences between the handwritten pages and Austen's finished works — including terrible spelling, grammatical errors and poor (often nonexistent) punctuation.
Sutherland talks about the manuscripts — now compiled in a digital archive — with NPR's Mary Louise Kelly."

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