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Mansfield Park.
London: Richard Bentley,, 1833. Octavo. Original purple glazed linen boards, twin black spine labels lettered in gilt. Engraved vignette title and frontispiece by William Greatbach after Ferninand Pickering (tissue-guards intact). Armorial bookplate of J. B. Gibson to front pastedown. Spine partially faded, a couple of marks to covers. An excellent copy. First Bentley edition, in the first issue binding, the third edition overall, and the first English edition to be illustrated. In 1832–3 Richard Bentley bought the copyright to all Austen's novels, which had not been reissued since 1818, to include them in his Standard Novels series, of which this is no. XXVII. The Bentley illustrations, by the obscure Ferdinand Pickering, played an integral part in the reception of Austen's novels; according to one Austen scholar, they "promoted a sense that her novels were best understood as familial, female focused, and sensational. For decades, these illustrations would have served to steer readers away from the conclusion that Austen's fiction ought to be understood as social, comic, or didactic" (Davoney Looser, The Making of Jane Austen, 2017, p. 20).
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2017-09-23           Check availability:      Biblio    

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