"THE MOTHER OF THE ENGLISH 19TH-CENTURY NOVEL"
AUSTEN, Jane. The Novels of Jane Austen. London and New York: MacMillan, 1897-1900. Five volumes. Octavo, contemporary full brown tree calf, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, raised bands, brown and blue morocco labels, marbled endpapers and edges. $4800.
Turn-of-the-century set of Austen novels illustrated with splendid line drawings by Charles Brock and Hugh Thomson, beautifully bound in contemporary full brown tree calf gilt by Mudie.
"Generations of readers have marveled at the modernity of her work… She is the mother of the English 19th-century novel as Scott is the father of it" (Kunitz & Haycraft, 23). "The fact that [Austen] wrote comparatively little and that that little is almost always of the highest quality has resulted in the unique distinction which her reputation now enjoys, that she is the only author of her period whose works can be read, and are read, today with delight in their entirety" (Baugh et al., 1206). "The unconscious charm of the domestic atmosphere of the stories, and the delicate subsatirical humor which pervades them, have won her the admiration, even to fanaticism, of innumerable readers" (DNB). Contains Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion (bound with Northanger Abbey), Mansfield Park and Emma. Each volume with frontispiece and numerous illustrations, most full-page, by Hugh Thomson and Charles E. Brock, and introduction by poet and literary historian Austin Dobson. Within his era, "Thomson takes first place" (Muir, 198). In his "Jane Austen illustrations… the comic vein is well caught in such scenes as that, drawn from an unusual angle, of Mrs. Jennings at the dinner table in Sense and Sensibility" (Harthan, 238-39). Brock "like Thomson… [had] a great feeling for line, a keen eye for detail, an unerring sense of period atmosphere and a flair for depicting character" (Harthan, 239).
Only faint scattered foxing. A fine set.