"READER, I MARRIED HIM": FIRST EDITION OF CHARLOTTE BRONTE'S CLASSIC JANE EYRE, BEAUTIFULLY BOUND
(BRONTE, Charlotte) BELL, Currer. Jane Eyre: An Autobiography. Edited by Currer Bell. London: Smith, Elder, 1847. Three volumes. Octavo, contemporary three-quarter red morocco gilt, raised bands, marbled boards and endpapers. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $60,000.
Rare first edition of one of the greatest and most popular novels in English literature in lovely contemporary calf-gilt.
Charlotte Brontë's decision to publish under the pseudonym "Currer Bell" aroused great public curiosity regarding the author's true identity. Thackeray, Brontë's literary hero, was sent a pre-publication copy, prompting this reply: "It is a fine book… Some of the love passages made me cry… I have been exceedingly moved & pleased by Jane Eyre. It is a woman's writing, but whose?" (Barker, 535). The demand for Jane Eyre "was almost unprecedented. The first edition… was published on 16 October 1847; it had sold out within three months… By any standard, Jane Eyre was a resounding success" (Barker, 535-37). Brontë "had learned to combine extraordinary power of expressing passion with an equally surprising power of giving reality to her pictures which transfigures the commonest scenes and events in the light of genius" (DNB). Bound without half titles and publisher's advertisements. Wolff 826. Smith 2. Owner ink signature.
Volume I expertly rebacked with original spine neatly laid down; text quite clean and fresh. An excellent copy of this rare classic.