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Monday, March 12

First Editions of the Novels of Jane Austen

The Cataloguer's Desk provides a detailed overview of Jane Austen's publishing history as "A Lady". This post is filled with good information and excellent images.

Pride and Prejudice 1813

In the early 1790s Austen started composing full-length novels, beginning with 
Sense and Sensibility. It was not yet finished when, in 1796, she began work on “First Impressions”, the book that would become Pride and Prejudice. The first of her novels to be completed, this became a family favourite and was offered by her father to the publisher Thomas Cadell in 1797, but was turned down. Undaunted, Austen in 1798 and 99 completed her third novel, first titled “Susan”, and then “Catherine”, but renamed Northanger Abbey when it was later published posthumously. 
Sense and Sensibility 1811
Sense & Sensibility finally appeared in October 1811 as a three volume set in a print run of fewer than 1,000 copies, priced 15 shillings each. Despite Austen’s fears, it was a success, selling quickly and garnering positive reviews. The copy pictured above is a first edition in the original boards. This is a truly rare survival, as the board bindings produced by early nineteenth-century publishers were relatively flimsy and not originally intended to be permanent.
Click here to read the rest of this fascinating post.


Enid Wilson said...

Perhaps JA was up there watching her own success now.

The Spinster’s Vow

Krista said...

To get my hands on a first edition would bestill my heart! I have a first edition E. Barrett Browning book of poems given to me by my husband at graduation. I treasure it!