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[AUSTEN, Jane (1775-1817)]. Pride and Prejudice. London: Printed for T. Egerton, 1813.
[AUSTEN, Jane (1775-1817)]. Pride and Prejudice. London: Printed for T. Egerton, 1813.
[AUSTEN, Jane (1775-1817)]. Pride and Prejudice. London: Printed for T. Egerton, 1813.
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[AUSTEN, Jane (1775-1817)]. Pride and Prejudice. London: Printed for T. Egerton, 1813.

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[AUSTEN, Jane (1775-1817)]. Pride and Prejudice. London: Printed for T. Egerton, 1813.

First edition of Austen’s most famous and beloved work, this copy from the library of John Peyto-Verney, 15th Baron Willoughby de Broke, whose Compton Verney residence is thought to have inspired the fictional Thornton Lacey in Mansfield Park (1814). Pride and Prejudice was written between October 1796 and August 1797 when Jane Austen was not yet twenty-one, the same age, in fact, as her fictional heroine Elizabeth Bennet. After an early rejection by the publisher Cadell, Austen's novel was finally bought by Egerton in 1812 and published in late January 1813 in a small edition of approximately 1500 copies. In a letter to her sister Cassandra on 29 January 1813, the author writes of receiving her copy of the newly published novel (her ‘own darling child’), and while acknowledging its few errors, she expresses her feelings toward its heroine as such: ‘I must confess that I think her as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print, & how I shall be able to tolerate those who do not like her at least, I do not know.’ Gilson A3.

3 volumes, 12mo (174 x 105mm). (Lacking half-titles, occasional faint spots or stains, small hole in C7, G6 and L3 of vol.2 affecting one or a few letters, E9-10 of vol.3 with hole affecting some words, a few minor marginal chips or tears.) Contemporary calf, sides with double gilt-ruled borders, gilt fleurons to corners, spines gilt with green morocco lettering-pieces (rebacked preserving contemporary backstrips, extremities lightly rubbed). Provenance: John Peyto-Verney, 15th Baron Willoughby de Broke (1762-1820; bookplate) – Robert Verney, 17th Baron Willoughby de Broke (1809-1862; bookplate).
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