First Edition of Jane Austen's Posthumously Published Northanger Abbey and Persuasion Attractively Bound in Full Morocco Gilt by Rivière & Son[Jane Austen]. Northanger Abbey: and Persuasion. By the Author of "Pride and Prejudice," "Mansfield-Park," &c. With a Biographical Notice of the Author. In Four Volumes. Vol. I. [II. III. IV.]. London: John Murray, 1818.
First edition. Four twelvemo volumes (6.625 x 4 inches; 168 x 101 mm.). xxiv, 300; , 331, [1, blank]; , 280; , 308 pages. Bound without the final two blank leaves (P7 and P8) in Volume IV. The half-title in Volumes II, III, and IV have been supplied in facsimile. Printed on wove paper, with the correct watermark "AP / 1816 / 2." Volume I and II were printed by C. Roworth, Volumes III and IV by T. Davison.
Early twentieth-century full light brown crushed levant morocco by Rivière & Son (stamp-signed in gilt on the front turn-in of each volume). Covers with gilt triple fillet border; spines in six compartments with five gilt-dotted raised bands, decoratively tooled in gilt in four compartments and lettered in gilt in the remaining two, with the date in gilt in the bottom compartment; board edges ruled in gilt; turn-ins ruled in gilt and decoratively tooled in gilt; marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Minimal rubbing to corners, spine extremities, and/or board edges; joints lightly rubbed and becoming tender, especially the rear joint on Volume IV; a few corners lightly bumped; small dark stain or stains to the upper edge of the rear cover of each volume and to the front cover of Volume III, each affecting a small portion of the gilt rules; a few small areas of slight rubbing or discoloration to the covers; tiny divot on the front cover of Volume I; free endpapers browned at the edges from turn-in glue.
Volume I with a tiny stain to the upper edge of the rear free endpaper, rear flyleaves, and final leaf of text; title starting to split at the upper gutter and with a tiny tear in the gutter margin; small piece torn from the upper corner of C10 (pages 43/44); E4 (pages 79/80) creased horizontally, not affecting any text; tiny hole in H6 (pages 155/156), affecting one letter on both the recto and verso.
Volume II with a small stain to the upper edge of the rear free endpaper, rear flyleaves, and final leaf of text; a tiny tear and crease to the upper edge of the half-title; N10 (pages 283/284) with a diagonal crease, just affecting a couple of letters.
Volume III with a small stain to the upper edge of the rear free endpapers and flyleaves; a small paper repair to the upper gutter margin of the title.
Volume IV with a small stain to the upper edge of both the front and rear free endpapers, flyleaves, and just barely visible throughout the text; with a tiny tear to the outer edge of the title; short repaired tear to the outer blank margin of H4 (pages 135/136); tiny hole in M4 (pages 231/232), touching two letters on both the recto and verso; a few leaves creased before printing, sometimes affecting the text: a few words on both the recto and verso of F3 (pages 85/86) and F10 (pages 99/100), two words on the recto and four on the verso of O4 (pages 279/280), two words on the verso of O9 (pages 289/290), one word on the verso of P3 (pages 301/302), and seven words in one line on the recto of P6 (pages 307/308).
Leaves C12 (pages 47/48) and I4-I9 (pages 175-186) in Volume II appear to be on slightly different paper, cleaner and crisper, and have either been washed or supplied from another copy at the time of binding. The paper in gathering G (pages 105-130) of Volume IV is very thin and there is considerable bleed through of the text.
There is slight browning and offsetting of the text, as usual, and some occasional light foxing. A few leaves in each volume with tiny marginal tears, holes, or paper flaws, not affecting text, and some mostly marginal ink smudges or faint stains. Despite these flaws, this is an excellent copy, in a very attractive binding.
"A considerable amount of discussion has centred around the composition of Northanger Abbey...The facts appear to be that the novel was written in 1797-98 with the title Susan...and that it was sold for £10 in the spring of 1803 to Messrs. Crosby & Co....It was actually announced for publication in Crosby's Flowers of Literature, 1803, but in spite of this was not printed. On April 5, 1809, Jane Austen addressed a letter...to 'Crosbie & Co.', asking why the book had not been printed and offering to supply a copy of the MS. if the other draft had been lost. This letter...was acknowledged by Richard Crosby, who offered in his reply to restore the MS. for the same sum as had been paid in 1803...and there the matter was allowed to drop. Seven years later, in 1816, negotiations were re-opened and the MS. was bought back for £10, Crosby still being unaware of the identity of the author...In 1809 a novel called Susan was published by another author, and Miss Austen changed the name of her work to Catherine. The publication of the book under this name was still being discussed in March 1817. Ultimately the name was changed to Northanger Abbey, and the novel was not printed until after the author's death [on July 18, 1817], with a biographical note by her brother Henry. Persuasion, the latest of the novels, was begun in 1815 and completed on July 18, 1816...The four volumes containing Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were advertised in the Morning Chronicle for December 19 and 20, 1817, and were published about that date" (Keynes, pages 18-19).
Gilson A9. Keynes, Austen, 9. Sadleir 62e.
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