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THE NOVELS AND LETTERS
New York and Philadelphia: Frank S. Holby, 1914. Hampshire Edition. Limited to 1,250 numbered and registered copies (our copy not numbered). Hardcover. 222 x 152 mm (8 3/4 x 6"). 12 volumes. Hampshire Edition. Limited to 1,250 numbered and registered copies (our copy not numbered). Quite pleasing recent tan crushed half morocco over marbled boards, raised bands, spines with blind wave rule at top and bottom, spine panels with double gilt rules and central gilt fleuron, red and green labels, top edges gilt, other edges untrimmed. Letter volumes unopened. With colored illustrations by C. E. and H. M. Brock, and facsimiles of autograph letters. One leaf with two-inch marginal tear (likely from rough opening), otherwise only the most trivial imperfections: A VERY FINE SET, much of it obviously unread, in unworn bindings. In addition to Austen's six novels, this set contains her delightful letters, many of them written to her sister, Cassandra, the dearest companion of her life. Their relationship was sympathetically portrayed in Jane's fiction, where the bonds of sisterhood sustain Eleanor and Marianne Dashwood ("Sense and Sensibility") and Elizabeth and Jane Bennett ("Pride and Prejudice") through all manner of trouble. According to DNB, the two sisters chose spinsterhood because it was preferable to "remain unmarried and together" rather than marry and live apart. One of the most beloved of all English novelists, Jane Austen (1775-1817) was also one of the most influential, and narrative and cinematic adaptations based on or inspired by hers are still making the bestseller lists and filling movie theatres. A clergyman's daughter who mostly lived a quiet life in Hampshire and later in Bath, she nevertheless managed to produce comedies of manners that are still noted for their accurate and acerbic observations on human relations. Austen was admired by critics in her own time, with Scott, Macaulay, and George Lewes being among her enthusiastic supporters. According to Shattock, Scott praised her "exquisite touch which renders ordinary common-place things and characters interesting." Her novels continued to draw admirers even among harsh 20th century critics, with Virginia Woolf declaring her "one of the most consistent satirists in the whole of literature." The illustrations here, as in the previous item, are by the brothers Charles Edmond Brock (1870-1938) and Henry Matthew Brock (1875-1960), prolific book illustrators who specialized in period pieces like the works of Austen, Goldsmith, and Defoe.
      [Bookseller: Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Mediev]
Last Found On: 2013-06-24           Check availability:      Biblio    

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