AINSWORTH, WILLIAM HARRISON. 1805-1882.
Autograph Manuscript for "Jack Sheppard," 70 pp, primarily rectos only, including several half-sheets, 8vo, [London, 1839]. Mild soiling, edgewear, a few tears, folding creases, chips to a few leaves with some loss to text.
Provenance: the author's granddaughter, sold at Sotheby's London, July 21, 1988.
PRELIMINARY DRAFTS AND MANUSCRIPT LEAVES FROM JACK SHEPPARD. The lot is comprised of two groups of manuscript leaves. The first consists of forty-four pages representing Chapters 1-4 of the section within "Epoch the Third" titled "The Prison Breaker" in the final version, ending with Sheppard's escape from prison (the last paragraph of this section is not present). These leaves contain numerous line cancellations and minor word variants from the final version. The second group is comprised of preliminary draft leaves, several of which are constructed of strips of paragraphs and passages of dialogue affixed over earlier drafts, and include significant and lengthy passages which do not appear in the final text. A prime example is a leaf paginated "64," in which a ten-line speech by Jack defending his mother's loyalty to Mr. Wood is amended to, "She would die rather than wrong you in the slightest degree." In the end, however, the entire scene was left out of the novel, as apparently were many others within these draft leaves.