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  1. #1
    Esgaleth's Avatar
    Esgaleth is offline VIP Member
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    Default Jane Austen's handwriting

    Dear all,

    I am sorry if my question is somewhat irrelevant on the site dedicated to modern English but probably you could provide me with an appropriate link.

    While reading Jane Austen's manuscrips I came across some interesting spelling, namely 'fs' instead of 'ss' in such words as 'classical', 'Cassandra', 'Cassy', 'Dutchess', etc. In her papers you can read 'clafsical', 'Cafsandra', 'Cafsy', 'Dutchefs'. It might not look exactly like 'f' but very similar. The curator didn't seem to know anything about it.

    I was interested to know if it was Jane Austen's perculiarity or simply the norm at that time, if the latter then the time frame and if it was possibly caused by German. Actually, I'd apprecate any information.

  2. #2
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Jane Austen's handwriting

    Google Jane Austen, spelling and pronunciation

  3. #3
    Esgaleth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jane Austen's handwriting

    Thanks for the hint. In fact, it has nothing to do with her allegedly 'bad' spelling. The long s was the norm apparantly till 1803 in Britain, at least according to Wiki

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Jane Austen's handwriting

    That ſ long s was common usage, but she is supposed to have been poor at spelling. She also did things that annoy grammar purists.

  5. #5
    Esgaleth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jane Austen's handwriting

    I was surprised by the fact that the people in the museum didn't know that.
    As for her 'bad' spelling, I wonder if grammar or other purists could be happy with at least one writer in any language

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Jane Austen's handwriting

    She's not the only one.

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