"MONEY CAN ONLY GIVE HAPPINESS WHERE THERE IS NOTHING ELSE TO GIVE IT": FIRST ILLUSTRATED EDITION OF AUSTEN'S FIRST NOVEL, SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, 1833
AUSTEN, Jane. Sense and Sensibility. London: Richard Bentley, 1833. 12mo, period-style full green straight-gain morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spine and boards, green endpapers.
Third edition, the first to identify Austen as the author and the first illustrated edition of Jane Austen's extraordinarily rare first novel, on "the twin themes of prudence and benevolence, reason and passion, head and heart, or sense and sensibility," with engraved frontispiece and vignette title page, beautifully bound.
Sense and Sensibility was Austen's first published novel— Austen 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). "The size of the [first] edition has not been recorded. It was undoubtedly a small one… Probably it consisted of only 1000 copies or even less… and this would account for the fact that Sense and Sensibility is so much the rarest of the novels at the present day" (Keynes 1). The second edition, with the text significantly revised by Austen and the substitution of "By the author of Pride and Prejudice" for "By a Lady" on the title page, appeared in October 1813. "No English reissue of Austen's novels is known after 1818 until in 1832 Richard Bentley decided to include them in his series of Standard Novels… Bentley's reprinting of the novels, each complete in one volume, was presumably intended for the private buyer; there is evidence that some circulating libraries were still well supplied with copies of the original editions" (Gilson, 211). Gilson D1.
Text generally quite clean, beautifully bound.