Scarce First Edition of Jane Eyre Complete With All Three Half-Titles
[BRONTE, Charolotte]. Jane Eyre. An Autobiography. Edited by Currer Bell. In Three Volumes. London: Smith, Elder, and Co., 1847.
First Edition. Three octavo volumes (7 3/8 x 4 1/8 in; 182 x 115 mm). (4), 304; (4), 304; (4), 311, (1 printer's imprint) pp. Complete with all three half-titles. All points noted by Smith present save Volume III p. 244 "2" in page number not raised and p. 307 "3" in page number not loose. As usual, bound without the advertisements at the end of Volume I.
Late nineteenth century quarter avocado calf over marbled boards. Five raised bands ruled in gilt. Gilt lettered in two compartments. Gilt ornaments in four compartments. Gilt rules to spine head and tail. Marbled edges,marbled endpapers. An occasional finger smudge or spot of foxing. Mild rubbing to extremities. Bookplate to front paste-down of each volume. A very attractive copy in a nice early binding.
"Although Jane Eyre was published [October 19, 1847] by the established firm of Smith, Elder, the number of first edition copies printed was probably small because this was the first published novel by an unknown author; however, as the work proved popular with the public, a second edition was published just three months late" (Smith, p. xvi).
"From its publication, the novel's exceptional emotional and narrative power made it a success, though, its despite its strict adherence to conventional moral standards, it was considered by many to be unsuitable for young ladies…Additional scandal attended the publication of the second edition, which Charlotte dedicated to Thackeray, unaware that he too has a wife certified as insane" (The Oxford Companion to English Literature).
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