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Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen

It has been confirmed around the world that the book women feel has most transformed their lives is Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. A poll conducted by Woman's Hour on Radio 4 in the UK recently announced that even though Austen's book was written over 200 years ago, the relevance of Pride and Prejudice has not diminished.

December 16th marks the 229th anniversary of Jane Austen's birthday. In honour of this special day we've put together a selection of some collectable first edition copies of Austen's work.

What is your favourite Jane Austen book? Discuss in Community Forums.

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Pride and PrejudicePride and Prejudice
Jane Austen

The first draft of the novel was written under the working title of First Impressions in 1796. In 1797, Jane Austen's father wrote to the publisher Cadell to ask if he would publish the novel. The offer was rejected by return of post. In 1800 The Minerva Press published a novel by Margaret Holford entitled First Impressions, which probably led to Austen changing the title of the work. There is no record of the number of copies of the first edition, but Keynes suggests 1500 as the probable print run. The book was well received and the first edition sold out within the year.

First Editions from: £9,950.00 - £38,613.62
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EmmaEmma
Jane Austen

Emma, when first published in 1816, was written when Jane Austen was at the height of her powers. In it, we have her two greatest comic creations -- the eccentric Mr. Woodhouse and that quintissential bore, Miss Bates. In it, too, we have her most profound characterization: the witty, imaginative, self-deluded Emma, a heroine the author declared "no one but myself will much like," but who has been much loved by generations of readers. Delightfull funny, full of rich irony, Emma is regarded as one of Jane Austen's finest achievements.

First Editions from: £9,750.00 - £22,500.00
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Northanger AbbeyNorthanger Abbey
Jane Austen

Northanger Abbey was written in 1798, although it was not published until after her death when it was compiled with her final novel, Persuasion. Northanger Abbey tells the story of Catherine Morland and her dangerously sweet nature, innocence, and sometime self-delusion. Though Austen’s fallible heroine is repeatedly drawn into scrapes while vacationing at Bath and during her subsequent visit to Northanger Abbey, Catherine eventually triumphs, blossoming into a discerning woman who learns truths about love, life, and the heady power of literature.

First Editions from: £51.48 - £7,500.00
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Sense and SensibilitySense and Sensibility
Jane Austen

Austen's first published novel centers on the experiences of two dissimilar sisters who undergo comparable experiences in the loss of the men they love. With a cast of characters satirically drawn, Sense and Sensibility remains a classic example of Austen's skill.

First Editions from: £1,287.12 - £27,500.00
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Mansfield ParkMansfield Park
Jane Austen

Spirited Fanny Price is sent by her poverty-stricken mother to live with her prosperous aunt and cousins at their grand country estate. Here, she struggles to adjust to aristocratic protocol and the daily reminders of her inferiority to her relatives. When her sparkle and wit bring the inevitable interest of suitors, Fanny is forced to decide whether to marry for love or status. A timeless satire on manners, money and passion set against the backdrop of outwardly genteel 19th century English society, Mansfield Park will delight Austin fans everywhere.

First Editions from: £128.71 - £15,000.00
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PersuasionPersuasion
Jane Austen

Persuasion was Austen's final completed novel and was written between 1815 and 1816, and published incompletely immediately after her death with Northanger Abbey. Jane Austen's last completed novel features a heroine much older and wiser than her predecessors in earlier books, and presents a more intimate and sober tale of a love found long after such happiness had been deemed hopeless. This edition includes an appendix giving the original ending of Persuasion.

First Editions from: £128.71 - £7,500.00
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