FIRST AMERICAN COLLECTED EDITION OF THE NOVELS OF JANE AUSTEN, 1838
AUSTEN, Jane. Novels… in Two Volumes. London: Richard Bentley, 1833. Two volumes. Tall octavo, contemporary full American sheep rebacked with original gilt-decorated spines laid down. $22,000.
First American collected edition of the novels of Jane Austen, "mother of the English 19th-century novel" (Kunitz & Haycraft), one of only 1500 copies produced.
"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). Carey, Lea & Blanchard's collected edition includes Sense and Sensibility (originally published 1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Emma (1815), Mansfield Park (1814) and Northanger Abbey and Persuasion (both published posthumously in 1818). "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). Includes the memoir of the author by Henry Austen. The present text "is a reprint of the separate editions of the novels issued by the same publisher, 1832-33" (Gilson). First issued in a collected edition in London by Bentley in 1833. Gilson E1. Early owner ink signatures (with a few spots of offsetting to title pages).
Text mildly toned, faint marginal dampstain toward rear of Volume I, foxing toward rear of Volume II, but generally quite clean. A touch of rubbing to corners. Very good and attractive in nicely refurbished contemporary American sheep.