First Edition of "Northanger Abbey" and "Persuasion"
AUSTEN, Jane. Northanger Abbey: and Persuasion. By the Author of "Pride and Prejudice," "Mansfield-Park," &c. With a Biographical Notice of the Author. In Four Volumes. London: John Murray , 1818.
First edition. Four twelvemo volumes (6 13/16 x 4 inches; 174 x 102 mm). xxiv, 300; [4], 331, [1, blank]; [2], 280; [2], 308 pp. Bound without half-titles in Volumes III, and IV, and without final blank leaves P7 and P8 in Volume IV. Gilson calls for the half-title of Volume I to be bound in the A11 position, but in present copy, it is bound before the title-page (A1).

From the Library of Austen biographer Park Honan.

Contemporary half calf over drab boards. All volumes with some restoration to spines. Calf ruled in gilt. Spines stamped and lettered in gilt. Edges speckled brown. Drab endpapers. Previous owner's armorial bookplate to front pastedown of each volume. A tear to inner margin of the title-page of Volume IV, not affecting text. Previous owner's old ink signature on the title-page of Volume III. Some staining to leaf G2 of Volume IV. Some general foxing and toning. Boards and spines with some minor rubbing and chipping. Overall a very good set.

"A considerable amount of discussion has centered around the composition of Northanger Abbey...The facts appear to be that the novel was written in 1797-98 with the title Susan, and that it was sold for 10 pounds in the spring of 1803 to Messrs. Crosby & Co....It was actually announced for publication in Crosby's Flowers of Literature, 1803, but in spite of this was not printed. On April 5, 1809 Jane Austen addressed a letter...to Crosbie & Co., asking why the book had not been printed and offering to supply a copy of the MS. if the other draft had been lost. This letter was written from Southampton and signed M. A. D. It was acknowledged by Richard Crosby, who offered in his reply to restore the MS. for the same sum as had been paid in 1803, and there the matter was allowed to drop. Seven years later, in 1816, negotiations were re-opened and the MS. was bought back for 10 pounds, Crosby still being unaware of the identity of the author....In 1809 a novel called Susan was published by another author, and Miss Austen changed the name of her work to Catherine. The publication of the book under this name was still being discussed in March 1817. Ultimately the name was changed to Northanger Abbey, and the novel was not printed until after the author's death, with a biographical note by her brother Henry. Persuasion, the latest of the novels, was begun in 1815 and completed on July 18, 1816" and published in December 1817 (Keynes, p. 18-19). Gilson A9. Keynes, Austen, 9. Sadleir 62e.

HBS # 68271 $15,000