The third and last edition by Egerton following his printing of the first and second editions in 1813. No further editions would be published until 1832.
Austen was not yet 20 when she drafted the novel, under the title First Impressions, between October 1796 and August 1797 at Steventon. It was declined by return of post by the publisher Cadell, and subsequently underwent major revisions. The title also had to be changed to Pride & Prejudice, as the Minerva Press published a novel entitled First Impressions by Margaret Holford in 1800. Finally, in late 1812, the novel was accepted by Egerton and published in early 1813 in boards in an edition of probably 1,500 copies (Keynes). The book sold well and was obviously much talked about, not least because of the unknown identity of the author. Anne Isabella Milbanke (the future Lady Byron) called it ‘a very superior work’ and ‘the most probable fiction I have ever read’. Madame de Staël borrowed a copy during her stay in London in 1813. The dramatist Richard Sheridan described it as ‘the cleverest thing he [had] ever read’ – whereas, according to Jane’s Brother Henry, an unidentified ‘gentleman’ supposedly remarked that ‘[he] should like to know who is the author, for it is much too clever to have been written by a woman’.
Third edition; 2 volumes, 12mo, bound without half-titles and final blank to vol. I, as often when bound; slight spotting in places; later 19th-century half Russia with marbled sides, spine gilt in compartments, gilt morocco labels, edges speckled red; minimal rubbing, a little scuffing to lower boards, nonetheless a very good set; Vol. I: , 289, [1 (imprint)]pp; without half-title and final blank; vol. II: , 311, [1 (blank)]pp; without half-title; marginal paper-flaws to G4 and (very minor) K5-6.
Provenance: Agnew of Lochnaw, Baronet (armorial bookplates to pastedowns and crest tooled to spine).
Stock ID: 99928