4 December 2009
[AUSTEN, Jane]. Pride and Prejudice. London: Printed for T. Egerton, 1813.
3 volumes, 12o (174 x 101 mm). Half-titles. (Some occasional very minor spotting, title-pages of volumes 2 and 3 with small holes not affecting text, C10 in volume 3 with small hole affecting a few letters.) Contemporary half calf and marbled boards, spines gilt (a few minor repairs to spines, front joint of volume one cracked, some minor chipping to spines); red quarter morocco slipcase. Provenance: William M. Fitzhugh, Jr. (bookplate in volume one).
FIRST EDITION. Originally titled First Impressions, 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 who had not even read it, Austen's novel was finally bought by Egerton in 1812 for £110. It was published in late January 1813 in a small edition of approximately 1500 copies and sold for 18 shillings in boards. In a letter to her sister Cassandra on 29 January 1813, Austen writes of receiving her copy of the newly publishing 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; Grolier English 69; Keynes 3; Sadleir 62b. (3)
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