November 15 1815: Miss Austen Has a Question

On November 15 1815,  Jane Austen writes to Rev. James Stanier Clarke, the librarian of Carlton House, to confirm that in fact she was asked to dedicate her next novel to the Prince Regent.

Nov. 15, 1815.

SIR, — I must take the liberty of asking you a question. Among the many flattering attentions which I received from you at Carlton House on Monday last was the information of my being at liberty to dedicate any future work to His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, without the necessity of any solicitation on my part. Such, at least, I believed to be your words; but as I am very anxious to be quite certain of what was intended, I entreat you to have the goodness to inform me how such a permission is to be understood, and whether it is incumbent on me to show my sense of the honour by inscribing the work now in the press to His Royal Highness; I should be equally concerned to appear either presumptuous or ungrateful.

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