A Lovely First Edition of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice[Jane Austen]. Pride and Prejudice: A Novel. In Three Volumes. By the Author of "Sense and Sensibility." Vol. I. [II. III.] London: Printed for T. Egerton, Military Library, Whitehall, 1813.
First edition. Three twelvemo volumes (each volume approximately 6.5 x 3.875 inches; 165 x 98 mm.). , 307, [1, blank]; , 239, [1, blank]; , 323, [1, blank] pages. Volume I printed by C. Roworth, Volumes II and III by G. Sidney. Printed on wove paper, with most sheets watermarked "1808", a few "1812" (at H6 and L1 in Volume II), and with an indistinct undated monogram watermark at L1 and O2 in Volume III.
The half-title in Volume I has been supplied from a second edition, with the printer's imprint on the verso reading: "London: Printed by C. Roworth, / Bell-Yard, Temple-Bar.", and offsetting from a second edition title-page on the verso. The half-title in Volume II appears to be correct. The half-title and title in Volume III are both on stubs, the half-title apparently supplied from a second edition of Volume II, with the thick-thin rules on the recto measuring 25.5 mm. and with the printer's imprint on the verso reading: "G. SIDNEY, Printer, / I, Northumberland Street, Strand."
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. Minor rubbing to corners and spine extremities; a few tiny dark stains or areas of slight rubbing on covers; the gilt rules at the foot of the rear cover of Volume I are rubbed; free endpapers browned at the edges from turn-in glue.
Some slight browning and offsetting, occasional light foxing. Each volume with a few mostly marginal tears or neat repairs
Volume I with a tiny portion of the upper corner of G12 (pages 143/144) torn away; one-and-one-quarter-inch repaired tear from the lower margin of C2 (pages 27/28) into the text, just affecting a couple of letters; tiny hole in H7 (pages 157/158), affecting one parenthesis in the pagination on both the recto and verso; tiny (rust?) adhesion on N1 (pages 265/266), affecting one letter in the catchword; a few leaves in gatherings M and N with a tiny portion of the upper corner creased.
Volume II with a quarter-inch tear to the outer margin of the rear free endpaper; B12 (pages 23/24) with a one-and-one-half-inch repaired tear from the gutter margin of into the text, with no loss, and with a printing flaw, resulting in the loss of three words on the recto; C3 (pages 29/30) horizontally creased before printing; diagonal mark on E2 (pages 75/76) and E4 (pages 79/80); tiny tear to the outer margin of E3 (pages 77/78); small stain, affecting three lines on both the recto and verso of E5 (pages 81/82); three-eights-inch tear to the lower blank margin of E12 (pages 95/96); small stain to F3 and F4 (pages 105/106 and 107/108); tiny black (ink?) stain on pages 160 and 161, obliterating one letter on p. 161; tiny adhesion, affecting one letter on both the recto and verso of L9 (pages 233/234).
Volume III with a paper repair (measuring approximately seven-eights inch by one and one-quarter inch) to the upper gutter margin of G5 (pages 129/130); paper repair (measuring approximately seven-eights inch by two inches) to the upper gutter margin of G8 (pages 135/136); two-inch diagonal tear from the lower outer margin into the text of G9 (pages 137/138), affecting a few letters, but with no loss; tiny piece torn from the lower corner of G10 (pages 139/140); quarter-inch tear to the lower blank margin of G12 (pages 143/144); M9 and M10 (pages 305/306 and 307/308) horizontally creased; tiny hole in M10 (pages 259/260), affecting two letters on both the recto and verso.
Despite the above-mentioned flaws, this is a very good copy, in a very attractive binding, of one of the most popular novels in the English language.
"The first draft of Pride and Prejudice was made at Steventon between October 1796 and August 1797 under the title First Impressions...It was not published until January 1813, when the success of Sense and Sensibility was already assured and the first edition almost sold out...Pride and Prejudice was issued in boards at 18s...The size of the edition is not known, but it was presumably larger than that of Sense and Sensibility, perhaps 1500 copies...The first edition was sold off very rapidly and a second one was printed in the same year; a third was printed four years later" (Keynes).
Gilson A3. Grolier, 100 English, 69. Keynes, Austen, 3. Sadleir 62b. Tinker 204.
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