8 December 2015
[AUSTEN, Jane]. Pride and Prejudice. London: Printed for T. Egerton, 1813.
3 volumes, 12° (183 x 110 mm). Half-titles. (Some occasional very minor spotting, volume one with D2, D3, D10-12 and F4, F5 with 1808 watermark, F8, F9 and G1 possibly supplied from another copy.) 19th-century calf, spines gilt each with green and red morocco spine labels, uncut (rebacked, some rubbing to sides); quarter morocco folding case.
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.
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