DELUXE EDITION OF SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, WITH COLOR ILLUSTRATIONS BY C.E. BROCK
AUSTEN, Jane. Sense and Sensibility. London and New York: J.M. Dent & Sons, E.P. Dutton, 1908. Octavo, publisher's deluxe full vellum gilt, top edge gilt. $4800.
First edition with color illustrations by C.E. Brock, with frontispiece, vignette title page, and 22 color plates after Brock's watercolor designs, deluxe issue in publisher's elaborately gilt-decorated vellum.
Sense and Sensibility was Austen's first published novel—she had sold Susan (the first version of Northanger Abbey) first, to the publishers Richard Crosby & Son, but they failed to publish it. Sense and Sensibility "does brightly respond to an interesting religious and ethical debate over the philosophy of sentiment… [The popular view held that morality] depends on the 'heart' and not on the 'head'… Rational moralists opposed the tendency, and a debate was in full swing by the 1790s when novel after novel took up the twin themes of prudence and benevolence, reason and passion, head and heart, or sense and sensibility" (Honan, Jane Austen, 275-77). Illustrator Charles E. Brock was "a specialist in delicate Regency-style period illustration, in the tradition of Hugh Thomson. For over 30 years he was regularly asked to illustrate the favorite literary adult classics of the 19th century" (Dalby, 58). Gilson E120. Ink gift inscription dated the year of publication.
An excellent, fine copy.