Sense and Sensibility

Jane AUSTEN

add to my shopping bag

Item#: 121241 price:$35,000.00

Book Image
Alternate image
Alternate image
Alternate image
Alternate image
Alternate image
Alternate image
Alternate image

"RELATIVELY FEW COPIES OF THE 1832-33 PHILADELPHIA EDITIONS ARE KNOWN TO SURVIVE": VERY SCARCE 1833 FIRST AMERICAN EDITION OF AUSTEN'S FIRST NOVEL, SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, IN ORIGINAL BOARDS

AUSTEN, Jane. Sense and Sensibility: A Novel. Philadelphia: Carey & Lea, 1833. Two volumes. 12mo, original drab boards sympathetically rebacked, facsimile of printed paper spine label, uncut. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. $35,000.

First American edition—an edition of only 1250 copies—of Jane Austen's first novel, on "the twin themes of prudence and benevolence, reason and passion, head and heart, or sense and sensibility," in original boards.

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).

Only Emma (1816) was published in the United States in Austen's lifetime, an extremely rare edition that she makes no reference to in her letters. "The first English editions of Austen's novels may be supposed to have been available in the United States at an early date… Chief Justice John Marshall in a letter of 1826 mentioned that he had just finished reading Austen's novels… It has been shown too that James Fenimore Cooper's first novel Precaution was an imitation of Persuasion (of which no American edition was published before 1832). It may be, therefore, that the availability of London editions in North America satisfied early local demand for Austen's novels, but, whether or not that is so, no other American edition is known before the issue of all six titles, each in two volumes, by Carey & Lea of Philadelphia in 1832-33. The survival (and publication) of the publisher's records for the years in question has provided details of publication costs, size of editions, etc., and the novels were also regularly advertised in the local press; but… little contemporary critical opinion has been traced. Relatively few copies of the 1832-33 Philadelphia editions are known to survive; one good result of the lack of appreciation of these editions' rarity… has been that most copies survive in original binding" (Gilson, 97-98).

"The most striking feature of the first American editions is the amount of textual variation." In addition to many minor differences of spelling and punctuation, "there is also what can only be described as a bowdlerizing tendency, seen chiefly in the omission of the name of the Deity from the exclamations of the vulgar, or from those of the major characters in moments of stress" (Gilson, 98). With leaf of publisher's ads preceding title page in each volume. Gilson B6. Keynes 14. Early owner ink signature.

Text professionally cleaned, with some faint evidence of foxing. Light wear to boards. A very good uncut copy in original boards of this scarce and desirable edition.

add to my wishlist ask an Expert shipping & guarantee
email to a friend share print

This Book has been Viewed 151 Time(s).

Other books from the same author(s)


Author's full list of books

AUSTEN, Jane >