AUSTEN, JANE Sense and Sensibility: A Novel. In Three Volumes. By a Lady.
London: Printed for the author by C. Roworth and published by T. Egerton, 1811. First edition of Austen's first published novel. Three volumes in olive drab half calf of the period, marbled boards. 6 3/4 x 3 1/8 inches (17.5 x 10.5 cm); Volume I: half-title, , 317,  pp., terminal blank. Volume II: half-title, 278 pp., lacking terminal blank. Volume III: half-title, 301,  pp., terminal blank. Spine of volume III stained, rubbing to joints and sides, but in all a sound set. First half-title slightly defective at corner, text somewhat foxed and browned (as is usual, as the paper used was rather poor), minor stain to the gutter margin to the first few leaves of volume III, the first volume a trifle shaken, two very short tears to the gutter margin of C11 and 12 in that volume.
Quite rare today in a period binding as here (the majority of copies having been rebound over the years), this was likely--as Keynes suggests--issued in an edition of a thousand copies or less. Egerton undertook the publication on commission, and Austen (who underwrote the publication) expected to lose money, no minor matter given her modest income. Issued at fifteen shillings in boards, the earliest advertisements for the book date from the end of October 1811. In fact, the author made £140 on the publication, which sold out over a two-year period, and she kept the copyright besides, "if that should ever be of any value" as she remarked in a letter to her brother Francis. Gilson A1; Keynes 1; Sadleir 62b. (3)
C Estate of Frances "Peggy" Brooks
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