AFTER THE AUCTION
Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice over 200 years ago, and this rst edition recently sold for £ 38,000
With 2017 marking 200 years since the death of Jane Austen, it’s tting that a rst-edition copy of her best-loved novel, Pride and Prejudice, has proved so desirable in the salesroom. Charting the roller coaster romance between headstrong heroine Elizabeth Bennet and the aloof Fitzwilliam Darcy, Pride and Prejudice was rst published in three hardcover volumes in 1813. Initially printed without Austen’s name, she is listed as ‘the author of Sense and Sensibility’ in these copies, and each volume is bound in the half calf and marble boards that were favoured by bookbinders at the time. Austen sold the copyright of the novel to Thomas Egerton for a mere £110. This lot proved particularly popular due to its attractive link to the Austen family. The title page suggests that these volumes were owned by Reverend Edward Graves Meyrick, who was taught at the very school in Wiltshire where Austen’s favourite nephew, and subsequent biographer, James Edward Austen-Leigh was sent as a boarder, aged 13. First-edition copies of Austen’s novels rarely appear at auction, which is why these rare books were quickly pushed far beyond their modest asking price when they sold at Mellors & Kirk earlier this year.