LONDON – Auction house Sotheby's says that it is selling an early Jane Austen manuscript — the only major manuscript by the author still in private hands.
The auction house says the draft for "The Watsons" is the earliest surviving manuscript for a novel by Austen that was probably written in 1804.
It said Monday that the manuscript is estimated at 200,000 to 300,000 pounds ($322,027 to $482,995.)
The novel is incomplete and was written before Austen was a published writer.
It centers on a family of four sisters, the daughters of a widowed clergyman. It was not published during Austen's lifetime.
The manuscript has not been at auction since 1988. It will be auctioned in London on July 14.