Homes and Antiques Magazine - - NEWS -

Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prej­u­dice over 200 years ago, and this rst edi­tion re­cently sold for £ 38,000

Es­ti­mate: £2,000–£3,000

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.

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