Pride and Prejudice.
“A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment": Rare First Edition of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice.
Item Number: 133221
London: Printed for T. Egerton, 1813.
First editions of all three volumes of Jane Austen’s second novel and most popular. Octavo, three volumes, bound in contemporary three quarter calf over marbled boards with gilt titles to the spine. In very good condition. Armorial bookplates to each pastedown. Period gift inscription from the year of publication to the title page of Vol. I.: “Mary Anne King given her by her mother April 1813.” An exceptional example of this landmark work in English literature, rare and desirable bound in contemporary calf.
Pride and Prejudice was written between October 1796 and August 1797 when Jane Austen was not yet twenty-one. 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. Volume I of the first edition was printed by Roworth and Volumes II and III by Sidney, and their imprints appear both on the versos of the half titles and at the end of the text of each volume 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. With a contemporary ink gift inscription to volume one, "Mary Anne King given her by her mother. April 1813" to title, Campbell family bookplate to pastedowns. Lacking the half-titles. With volume one lacking text f. F9 (pp. 113-114).