• The William E. Self Library, I auction at Christies

    Sale 2153

    The William E. Self Library, Important English and American Literature

    4 December 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 1

    [AUSTEN, Jane (1775-1817)]. Sense and Sensibility: A Novel in Three Volumes By a Lady. London: for the author by C. Roworth and published by T. Egerton, 1811.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    [AUSTEN, Jane (1775-1817)]. Sense and Sensibility: A Novel in Three Volumes By a Lady. London: for the author by C. Roworth and published by T. Egerton, 1811.

    3 volumes, 12o (185 x 113 mm). Half-titles. (Some occasional pale spotting, title-page of volume 2 with small marginal repair not affecting text, a few leaves with minor marginal repairs, lacking blank N8 in volume 2 and blank O8 in volume 3. ) Modern dark blue morocco, spine gilt-lettered, uncut by Zaehnsdorf.

    FIRST EDITION OF JANE AUSTEN'S FIRST PUBLISHED NOVEL. Originally a sketch written in 1795 in the form of letters and titled Elinor and Marianne, the novel was revised in 1797 and 1798 at Steventon and again in 1809 and 1810, the first year of Jane Austen's residence at Chawton. Thomas Egerton undertook publication on a commission basis, and Jane Austen "'actually made a reserve from her very moderate income to meet the expected loss.'" The price of the new novel was 15 shillings in boards, and advertisements first appeared for it on 30 October 1811. Keynes suggests that the edition, printed in Caslon Pica roman, was "only 1000 copies or even less." When it sold out in less than two years, Jane wrote delightedly to her brother Francis (3 July 1813): "You will be glad to hear that every copy of Sense and Sensibility is sold and that it has brought me £140 beside the copyright, if that should ever be of any value." Gilson A1; Keynes 1; Sadleir 62b. (3)


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