British Library Putting Hundreds Of Important Literary Resources Online

Charlotte Bronte's earliest known writing. (British Library)

Charlotte Bronte’s earliest known writing. (British Library)

If you’ve read every word in print by Jane Austen, or pored over Oscar Wilde’s plays until your eyeballs felt like they’d been open since the 16th century, you’ll probably be pretty excited over the British Library’s new site featuring hundreds of manuscripts, papers and other documents from England’s brightest literary minds.

The Library unveiled the treasure trove today, which contains digital versions of 1,200 handwritten manuscripts, diaries and letters from Romantic and Victorian writers including Charles Dickens, William Wordsworth, the Bronte sisters, Wilde, Austen and more, reports the Associated Press.

One big draw — an 1826 miniature book with a short story illustrated with tiny drawings by Charlotte Bronte for her sister Anne. It’s the earlies known work by Bronte, and shows signs that the family was already on the writerly path early on.

You can also see a lock of Percy Bysshe Shellye’s hair or check out William Blake’s notebook with sketches and drafts of poems like “The Tyger,” as well as notes from Austen talking about dealing with critiques of her work. One such note from a peer calls Pride and Prejudice “downright nonsense.”

It is a truth universally acknowledged that you showed those haters what for on that front, huh Jane?

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