Mansfield Park; A Novel. In Three Volumes. By the Author of “Sense and Sensibility,” and “Pride and Prejudice.”

First Edition of Jane Austen’s “Mansfield Park”

[AUSTEN, Jane]. Mansfield Park: A Novel. In Three Volumes. By the Author of “Sense and Sensibility,” and “Pride and Prejudice.” London: Printed for T. Egerton, 1814.

First edition. Three twelvemo volumes (6 5/8 x 4 inches; 169 x 102 mm.). [4], 360; [4], 294; [4], 354 pp. Bound without the advertisement leaf (pp. [355-356]) at the end of Volume III, but with the half-title in each volume.

Early twentieth-century antique-style mottled calf by Bartlett & Co. of Boston (stamp-signed on front free endpaper). Covers decoratively bordered in gilt, spines decoratively tooled in gilt in compartments with two brown morocco gilt lettering labels, board edges ruled in gilt, turn-ins decoratively tooled in gilt, all edges gilt. Some foxing and browning. Clean tear neatly repaired to L7 and L8 (pp. 229-232) in Volume III, a few additional small marginal tears or expert repairs. Early ink signature washed from half-title of each volume. An excellent copy.

“Mansfield Park is stated to have been begun about February 1811, and to have been completed ‘soon after June, 1813’ (Life, p. 290). It was read by Henry Austen between March 2 and 9, 1814, presumably in proof sheets (Life, pp. 293, 296). On May 23 and 27 it was advertised in the Morning Chronicle, and was no doubt published, again at 18s., at the end of May. The size of the edition was moderate, probably about 1500 copies, and John Murray, the publisher of the second edition, expressed his surprise thereat (Life, p. 311). Although ‘it was entirely sold out in the autumn’ (Life, p. 296), no second edition was printed until 1816…The first edition of Mansfield Park is stated by Mr. Chapman to be far the worst printed of all the novels as regards both punctuation and verbal errors…Vols. I. and III. were printed by Roworth, vol. II. by Sidney” (Keynes).

“In its tone and discussion of religion and religious duty, [Mansfield Park] is the most serious of Austen’s novels. The heroine, Fanny Price, is a self-effacing and unregarded cousin cared for by the Bertram family in their country house. Fanny’s moral strength eventually wins her complete acceptance by the family” (Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of Literature).

Gilson A6. Keynes, Austen, 6. Sadleir 62c. Tinker 205. Item #00234

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