London: Printed for the Author, by C. Roworth and Published by T. Egerton, 1811. First edition. Three 12mo volumes (171 x 108 mm): , 317; , 278; , 301. Bound without half-titles, as is common. Half calf over marbled boards, rebacked to style. Each volume with morocco spine labels, stamped in gilt, later endpapers. Volume I, leaf C11 with a two-inch professionally closed tear and E12 with a corner torn. Volume II, B1 with a corner torn and K8 torn across the lower margin, lacking the catch-word. Volume III, p. 252 with a printer's error affecting four words, H1 with a corner torn, and approx. six other leaves with small holes. Light foxing throughout and the stray pencil mark in the margins. While certainly not a flawless set, on the whole a Very Good copy of a scarce book.
Begun in the mid-1790s, "Sense and Sensibility," like "Pride and Prejudice," went through two versions before publication, but the fact that it was published as the first of Jane Austen's novels was more or less accidental. The first version of "Pride and Prejudice" (then titled "First Impressions") had been summarily rejected and the first version of "Northanger Abbey" (originally titled "Susan") had been sold to a publisher, but remained unpublished. Keynes suggests that the first printing of “Sense and Sensibility” was between 750 and 1000 copies. (Item #1239)
Out of stock