[AUSTEN, Jane]. Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. London: John Murray, 1818.
4 volumes, 12° (177 x 103 mm). (Lacking half-titles, blank upper corners of H11 and H12 in volume 4 torn away, some browning and spotting.) Late 19th century half calf and marbled boards (minor wear and skillful repairs to spines, some light rubbing); quarter morocco folding case. Provenance: Louisa Taylor (signature on title of second volume dated “1 Feb., 1818”); Elizabeth Eliot (pencil ownership inscription).
FIRST EDITION. According to the Jane Austen's sister, Cassandra, Northanger Abbey, with its lighthearted imitation of the Gothic novel, was written 1798 and 1799. In 1803 she sold the novel, then entitled Susan, to Crosby and Company, a London publisher, for £10. When it failed to appear after six years, she asked Mr. Crosby for information and was told he was under no obligation to publish it but would return the manuscript to her in exchange for the amount he had originally paid her. Austen waited until 1816 to accept the offer, but despite preparing the manuscript for publication, she still held it back. As a result, it only appeared posthumously with Persuasion in December 1817, prefaced by Henry Austen's “Biographical Notice” of his sister. The final version of Persuasion, her last novel, had been completed on 6 August 1816. Gilson A9; Keynes 9; Sadleir I, 62e.