7 JULY 1950, Page 22

Poor Richard SIR.—In 1803 the MS of Northanger Abbey was

sold to Mr. Richard Crosby. The business proceeded no further, and in 1809 one of Jane Austen's brothers secured the return of the MS for £10, the amount which Mr. Crosby had given for it. Evidently he had no idea that it was by the author of Pride and Prejudice. Perhaps the reference to a Richard who had never been handsome " was Jane Austen's way of calling attention to this fact.—Yours faithfully, P. R. P. BARKER. Woolavinglon Vicarage, Nr. Bridgwater.