[AUSTEN, Jane]. Emma: A Novel... By the Author of ''Pride and Prejudice,'' &c. &c. London: John Murray, 1816.
[AUSTEN, Jane]. Emma: A Novel... By the Author of "Pride and Prejudice," &c. &c. London: John Murray, 1816.
3 volumes, 12o (187 x 110 mm). Half-titles. (Volume one half-title with printed numeral "1" below title added at a later date, a few leaves with minor marginal repairs not affecting text, N9 in volume one, E8 in volume 2, and K8 in volume 3 with lower right corners renewed.) Modern dark blue morocco gilt, spine gilt-lettered, uncut, by Zaehnsdorf. Provenance: Penelope Lutley Sclater (1752-1843), a neighbor of Jane Austen (signature "P.L. Sclater" on title-page of volume one, and intitials "P.L.S." on half-titles of volumes 2 and 3.); Sydney Roscoe (note signed "SR" on verso of half-title page of volume one; exhibited at "Le Livre Anglais" at the Bibliothèque Nationale in 1951).
FIRST EDITION. Penelope Lutley Sclater was an acquaintance and neighbor of Jane Austen, whose family's estate Tangier Park was situated next to Manydown, the home of Jane's close friends Catherine and Alethea Bigg. Jane spent many happy moments at Manydown visiting with the Bigg girls and there she also must have had occasion to visit with Mrs. Lutley Sclater. For Jane, she was a difficult and unyielding neighbor who refused to sell her estate back to the Bigg family, who were the original owners of the disputed eight-acre parcel of land on which her house stood. In a letter to her sister Cassandra dated 9 February 1813, Austen rather playfully hints: "Kill poor Mrs. Sclater if you like it while you are at Manydown." For many years, this comment was removed from biographical accounts and editions of Austen's letters by her family, who feared it would undermine the public's perception of a modest and pious Jane Austen.
As was her habit, Austen recorded comments and opinions on Emma from family and friends and wrote that Mrs. Lutley Sclater "liked it very much, better than MP [Mansfield Park] - & thought I had 'brought it all about very cleverly in the last volume.'" A VERY FINE ASSOCIATION COPY. Gilson A8; Keynes p. 14; Sadleir I, 62d. (3)