Can't remember the "i before e" rule? Don't worry, neither could Jane Austen.
The beloved novelist -- author of Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Emma -- is known for her polished prose, her careful phrasing and her precise grammar. "Everything came finished from her pen," Austen's brother, Henry, said in 1818, a year after his sister's death.
But now -- though it may pain die-hard Austen fans -- it turns out that Austen may have simply had a very good editor. Kathryn Sutherland, a professor at Oxford University, has been studying more than 1,000 original handwritten pages of Austen's prose. She's found some telling differences between the handwritten pages and Austen's finished works -- including terrible spelling, grammatical errors and poor (often nonexistent) punctuation.
Sutherland talks about the manuscripts -- now compiled in a digital archive -- with NPR's Mary Louise Kelly.