Jane Austen 6 Volume New Edition Set, Published by Richard Bentley & Sons, in Period Bindings, Published 1886, 1891, 1892, and 1901

Presented is a beautiful six volume set of Jane Austen’s novels, published by Richard Bentley & Son, in stunning period bindings from London's House of Morrell. 

This new edition “Austen Standard Novels” set includes Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, and is coupled with A Memoir of Jane Austen by her nephew J. E. Austen Leigh and several unfinished works, including Lady Susan. This new edition set has the title page dates of 1886 (Sense and Sensibility, Emma), 1891 (Pride and Prejudice), 1892 (Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey), and 1901 (A Memoir of Jane Austen, Lady Susan). Each volume has an engraved frontispiece by Ferdinand Pickering and is presented in matching period ¾ tan calf leather and marbled boards, with raised bands, gilt titles and stamps to the spine, marbled pastedowns, and gilt top edge. 

Jane Austen (1775-1817) was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen's plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favorable social standing and economic security. Her works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century literary realism. Her use of biting irony, along with astute social commentary, have earned her acclaim among critics and scholars. 

With the publications of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), and Emma (1816), Austen achieved success as a published writer. She wrote two additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published posthumously in 1818, and began another, eventually titled Sanditon, but died before its completion. She also left behind three volumes of unfinished notes in manuscript and another unfinished novel, The Watsons. Her six full-length novels have rarely been out of print, although they were published anonymously and brought her only moderate success and little fame during her lifetime. 

A significant transition in Austen’s posthumous reputation occurred in 1833, when her novels were republished in Richard Bentley's “Standard Novels” series, illustrated by Ferdinand Pickering, and sold as a set. After her death in 1818, there was no English re-issue of Austen's novels until Bentley decided to include them in the first series of his “Standard Novels.” Bentley purchased the original copyrights from Henry and Cassandra Austen, or, in the case of Pride and Prejudice, from the publisher T. Egerton. The “Austen Standard Novels” were not sold at first as a collected edition, but they soon became so, issued at regular intervals. They gradually gained wider acclaim and popular readership.

In 1869, fifty-two years after her death, her nephew's publication of A Memoir of Jane Austen introduced a compelling version of her writing career and supposedly uneventful life to an eager audience. This was added to the "Austen Standard Novel" set, along with Lady Susan and other unfinished writings, as the sixth volume in 1871 and was reprinted by Bentley until the copyright was transferred to MacMillan & Co. in 1898. 

CONDITION:

6 vols. Octavo printings. Bound uniformly in period ¾ tan calf leather and marbled boards, with gilt titles, decorative stamps, and raised bands to spine, and tooling to front and back boards. Deckled edge, top edge gilt. Marbled pastedown and free endpapers. 

Vol. 1: Sense and Sensibility: A Novel. by Jane Austen. London: Richard Bentley & Son, New Burlington Street, 1886. New Edition. Engraved frontispiece with tissue guard. 322 pp., plus bookseller’s advertising pages in back. Very clean inside. 

Vol II: Emma: A Novel by Jane Austen. London: Richard Bentley & Son, New Burlington Street, 1886. New Edition. Engraved frontispiece with tissue guard. 419 pp. Very clean inside. 

Vol. III: Pride and Prejudice: A Novel by Jane Austen. London: Richard Bentley & Son, New Burlington Street, 1891. New Edition. Engraved frontispiece with tissue guard. 332 pp. Very clean inside. Page 99 clipped corner, not affecting text.

Vol. IV: Mansfield Park: A Novel by Jane Austen. London: Richard Bentley & Son, New Burlington Street, 1892. New Edition. Engraved frontispiece with tissue guard. 413 pp. Very clean inside. Small loss to bottom margin of engraved frontispiece, not affecting image, title, or plate mark. 

Vol. V: Northanger Abbey: A Novel by Jane Austen. London: Richard Bentley & Son, New Burlington Street, 1892. New Edition. Engraved frontispiece with tissue guard. 1-207 pp. Very clean inside. [and] Persuasion: A Novel by Jane Austen. London: Richard Bentley & Son, New Burlington Street, 1892. New Edition. Engraved frontispiece with tissue guard. 210- 429 pp. Very clean inside. 

Vol. VI: A Memoir of Jane Austen, by Her Nephew J. E. Austen Leigh, to Which is Added, Lady Susan and Fragments of Two Other Unfinished Tales by Miss Austen. London: MacMillan & Co., Limited, 1901. Engraved frontispiece with tissue guard. 364 pp. Very clean inside.




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