Pride and Prejudice: A Novel. Complete Set in Three Volumes
By The Author of Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen)
Published By: Printed for T. Egerton 1813 (London)
A wonderful first edition, first printing set. Excellent association copies with interesting provenance, previously belonging to The Reverend Edward Graves Meyrick. Jane Austen's favourite nephew, and subsequent biographer, James Edward Austen-Lee was sent as a boarder, aged 13, to E.G. Meyrick's school in Ramsbury. Signed by Meyrick to the top edge of each title page, but crossed neatly through on the second two volumes. Early contemporary half calf binding, marbled paper covered boards. Black label bands with gilt titles to the spines, gilt volume number to the base of each. Blind stamped decoration to spines. All in very good condition, just minor rubbing to the boards and wear to the spine ends and corners. Label bands predominantly intact, just slight chipping to the edges and a small central piece to volume 3. Complete with half titles and original endpapers to all three volumes. Previous owners neat early inscription to original endpaper of each volume.Very faint crease to the centre of the title page of volume 1. Occasional professional restoration to a small piece of either the bottom or fore-edge of a handful of pages, not affecting text except for one instance, of one or two letters of page 199 Vol 1. Minor foxing but otherwise contents clean, bindings nice and tight. Vol 1 307pp. Vol 2 239pp. Vol 3 323pp
All housed in an exceptional custom made clam shell box, felt lined and bound in half calf, with green label band and gilt titles to the spine. 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.
Book Condition: Very Good
Binding: Hard Back