“THE MOTHER OF THE ENGLISH 19TH-CENTURY NOVEL”
AUSTEN, Jane. Novels. London: Richard Bentley, 1856. Five volumes. Octavo, modern three-quarter brown calf gilt, raised bands, green and red morocco gilt, marbled boards and edges. $4500.
Early Bentley edition, with finely engraved frontispieces, handsomely bound.
"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 and without a frontispiece), Mansfield Park, and Emma.
Tiny stain to edge of Sense and Sensibility, a bit of expert cleaning to title pages of Pride and Prejudice and frontispiece of Emma, a few spots of foxing to interiors, bindings fine. Overall, a handsome, near-fine set.