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    [Jane Austen]. Emma. London: John Murray, 1816. First edition, complete with half-titles; rebound. Three volumes. 12mo. [vi], 322; [iv], 351, [1, imprint]; [iv], 363, [1, publisher's advertisement for the second editions of Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and the first edition of Mansfield Park] pages; watermarked 1815. Late nineteenth-century binding by Zaehnsdorf; mottled calf decoratively ruled in gilt, brown leather spine labels lettered in gilt, spine elaborately decorated in gilt with five raised bands. Minor edgewear, a touch of wear to head and foot of spines, boards with just a few ever so minor scratches. Inner dentelles gilt, brown endpapers; minor offsetting to margins, binder's ink stamp and bookseller's ink stamp to the front free endpapers, recto. Internally generally clean and tight, all edges trimmed and gilt, brown ribbon markers; minor offsetting from ribbon markers, minor intermittent thumbsoiling, somewhat foxed but chiefly to front and back of text block, text blocks unevenly toned, minor wear to gilt on edges, two small professional repairs to Volume II, page 351 just affecting text, light dampstain to the upper corner of Volume III, page 169, faded ink ownership to the title page of Volume III. Very good.

    A beautiful first edition of Austen's last novel to be published in her lifetime. Though Austen set out claiming to create a heroine "whom no one but myself will much like," Emma Woodhouse, "handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and a happy disposition," and her subsequent misadventures at the hand of her own pride has captured imaginations for over two centuries. Though Emma's story is a popular one for television adaptations, particularly with the BBC, many would be surprised to know that the 90s hit, Clueless, was one of the first times Emma came to the silver screen. She returned again the following year in a more recognizable look, written and directed by Douglas McGrath and with Gwyneth Paltrow starring in the title role, and then again as recently as last year, in a film directed by Autumn de Wilde and starring Anya Taylor-Joy. Despite being released in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, this last adaptation was still a critical and commercial success, garnering two Academy Award nominations and several more BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations.

    Gilson A8; Keynes 8; Sadleir 62d.

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