MS. MA 1034.5, Morgan Library & Museum, New York

See diplomatic display

The manuscript is a single piece of paper, written in Jane Austen’s hand, bearing the heading ‘Profits of my Novels, over & above the £600 in | the Navy Fives.’


The manuscript seems to have passed from Cassandra Austen to the family of her younger brother, Charles Austen (1779-1852), eventually descending to the daughters of Charles Austen’s son Charles John. Three of these daughters – Jane, Emma Florence, and Blanche Frederica Austen – offered for sale in 1925 a small collection of Austen manuscripts and memorabilia (among them some letters, verses, Opinions of Mansfield Park, Opinions of Emma, Plan of a Novel, and Profits of my Novels). The collection was brokered by R. W. Chapman, and divided chiefly between the British Museum and J. Pierpont Morgan, Jr. He acquired, among other items, Profits of my Novels for the Morgan Library.1

Physical structure

The manuscript is a single scrap of paper (94 x 114 mm), cut from a larger piece.

The manuscript

A holograph note written in brown-black iron gall ink, the manuscript is undated but from internal evidence must be later than 7 March 1817.


R. W. Chapman ‘A Jane Austen Collection’, Times Literary Supplement, 14 January 1926, p. 27; Christine Nelson, ‘Jane Austen in the Morgan Library: History of a Collection’, unpublished paper presented to the New York chapter of the Jane Austen Society of North America, 21 January 1995 (updated 2005) (unpaginated). A detailed catalogue record for Profits of my Novels can be found on Corsair, the Morgan’s online catalogue Back to context...