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4 June 2003
[AUSTEN, Jane (1775-1817)]. Pride and Prejudice: a novel ... by the author of "Sense and Sensibility". London: T. Egerton, 1813.
3 volumes, 12° (175 x 93mm). Half-titles to volumes II-III. (Lacking half-title to vol. I, some persistent spotting, light browning to the later quires in vol. II.) Contemporary tree calf, flat gilt spines with red morocco lettering-pieces and unicorn crest at head surmounting the initials 'J.J.S.' (spines lightly rubbed, slight flaking at head of vol. I, one corner of vol. II a little bumped, joints of vol. III slightly cracked), modern green morocco-backed box. Provenance: John Selwin (bookplate and binding).
FIRST EDITION IN A FINE CONTEMPORARY BINDING. Written under the title of First Impressions between October 1796 and August 1797, when Jane Austen was not yet twenty-one and, in fact, the same age as her heroine Elizabeth Bennet. Rejected by Cadell who declined an invitation from Jane Austen's father, the Rev. George Austen, to read the manuscript, and finally sold to Egerton for £110 in 1812, Pride and Prejudice was the work of two printers who used varying types. Volume I was printed by C. Roworth in Caslon Pica roman, volumes II-III by G. Sidney in Pica roman by Vincent Figgins. Publication in late January 1813 was in a probable edition of 1500 copies, priced at 18 shillings in boards. Gilson A3; Keynes 3; Sadleir I, 62b (Sadleir's copy without half-titles). (3)
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