The complete Hubback, at last
By Deborah Yaffe, Jun 9 2014 01:00PM
Great news for aficionados of Jane Austen fan fiction: the long-inaccessible third volume of The Younger Sister, by Austen’s niece Catherine Hubback, is finally online,* in a version newly digitized by the University of Iowa.
As readers of my January-February blog series “The Watsons in Winter” will recall, Hubback’s 1850 continuation of Austen’s unfinished novel The Watsons was the first published example of the now-popular genre of Austen fan fiction.
Copies of the book, long out of print, exist in only a handful of research libraries around the world, and although the first two volumes have long been available online, in versions digitized by Oxford’s Bodleian Library, the third volume had proved too fragile to scan. Most readers wanting to find out how Hubback ends her story were out of luck.
Enter Iowa’s heroic librarians (really, that’s a phrase that should be employed more often, don’t you think?) Iowa holds the only copy of Hubback’s book available for interlibrary loan in the U.S., and when I emailed its librarians to ask about the possibility of digitizing this historically interesting book, they responded rapidly and favorably.
And now they’ve done it! Iowa’s digitized version of Volume III can be read online or downloaded as a PDF: I acquired all 434 pages in 25 minutes.
I’m looking forward to finishing Hubback’s story at last. She’s not as good a writer as her aunt--who is?–but she’s an entertaining Victorian who deserves to be read, if only because her early homage to Austen inspired so many to follow the same path.
* Thanks to reader cmickey, who alerted me to this news.
So glad to see this! I was rather disheartened when I saw the comment on google books about the third volume being unavailable.
Oh the regret that Austen didn't live long enough to produce more books keeps me up at night!
Yes, the University of Iowa did all of us Janeites a big favor! Though I too would prefer a new Jane Austen -- alas for the shortcomings of 19th-century medicine. . .
Thank you so much for answering! But unfortunately I cant seem to access to the digital copy of the 3rd volume. I follow the link to the University of Iowa digital library, but an error 500 (caused by the server of the library's page) occurs everytime, for some reason, that link is down. I'd appreciate if you or another reader can help me in any way.
Hmm: I downloaded my own copy long ago, so I haven't tried that link in ages. I tried again now and got there with no trouble from here: http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/uidb/id/11835/rec/1 -- does that work for you?
If not, I'd recommend that you contact the library directly -- I found them very responsive when I reached out to them. Looks like one possible contact email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck!
Yay!!! That link you gave me did work!! I was a able to finally download it! I can't wait to read it
Thank you so much for your help, it is invaluable
Great -- so glad you got what you needed!