Visiting the “Emma at 200” Exhibition at Chawton House Library ~ Guest Post by Tony Grant

Gentle Readers: Today I welcome Tony Grant as he writes about his visit this week to the “EMMA 200” exhibit at Chawton House Library, he being my feet on the ground so to speak as I am woefully not able to be there myself. Hope those of you who are able to go will do so – and send me pictures and your thoughts when you do!

[Update: please read Tony Grant’s post about walking around Chawton at the “Jane Austen’s World” Blog]

Emma at 200 - CHL PR

EMMA 200: English Village to Global Appeal

(Chawton House Library 21st March – 25th September 2016)

On Wednesday 20th April I drove from Wimbledon to Chawton in Hampshire over the Hogs Back with views stretching across Surrey into the distance. It was a bright sunny day and seeing the Surrey countryside green and pleasant and shining in the bright sunshine under blue skies was appropriate for my adventure. I was driving to Chawton House Library to visit the “Emma 200 exhibition.” Emma is Jane Austen’s Surrey novel and this year is the 200th anniversary of its publication and it is entirely set within that county.

Emma-tp-wpEmma was published by John Murray II of Albemarle Street on the 23rd December 1815, although its title page reads 1816. This exhibition has items from Chawton House’s own collection and from the Knight family collection, as well as other items on loan. The exhibition covers the reception of Emma through the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty first centuries; it also considers the country setting of the novel and the places that were possible influences. It covers the global appeal of Emma. It has a large section about John Murray II and nineteenth century publishing practices through letters and comments made by Jane herself and fellow authoresses also published by Murray. It highlights authors mentioned in the novel and nineteenth century ideas about female accomplishments such as music, embroidery and painting. It shows the connection with Shakespeare and has a section about the reception of the novel. In particular, there is a letter written by Charlotte Bronte to her own publisher, W.S. Williams, discussing her thoughts about Emma and Jane Austen as a writer.

I arrived at the electronically operated gates early. The house opens at 1.30pm Monday to Friday. I was there promptly at 1.10pm. I decided to have a look around and inside of St Nicholas Church nearby, which is Chawton’s parish church and where Jane Austen and her family worshipped. The church we see today is not the church Jane knew. There was a fire sometime after Jane’s death and it had to be rebuilt, though some of the structure from the church that Jane knew remains. I read the memorials to the Austens and Knights within and then went round to the back of the church through an arbor of dark and gloomy ancient yew trees to see the side-by-side graves of Austen’s sister, Cassandra Elizabeth Austen, and mother, Cassandra Austen.

Two Cassandras

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The Great House

Chawton House Library

It was such a nice day and I still had about ten minutes left so I sat on a stone bollard near the entrance gate and watched a gentleman sitting on a motor mower mowing the grass verges along the drive. As I sat there I noticed a smartly dressed lady leaving the front entrance of the great house with a dog on a lead. She approached the gate and opened it, placing a notice board on a stand giving the times and prices of entry. I asked jokingly if this meant I can go in. I pointed out it was still ten minutes to half past. She laughed and said by the time I walked up the driveway I should arrive at the door on time. “Just knock and they will let you in,” she told me. I knocked on the door with five minutes to and it was immediately opened by a smiling lady who ushered me in. The house is staffed by volunteers except in the kitchens where the official housekeeper keeps her domain but more about that nice lady later. I found everybody so enthusiastic and full of smiles and really, extremely welcoming. I paid my entrance fee and one lady took me into the great hall on the left of the entrance and showed me a map of the house with the route marked by numbered rooms. It is a self-guided tour so I was given the map to hold as I went round. There are volunteers in every room who you can talk to and ask information of.

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The exhibition began in the great hall. A glass case displays some first editions dated 1816. There was an edition in French as well as one published by Mathew Carey a publisher in Philadelphia. Somehow Carey had read Sir Walter Scott’s review of Emma and obviously liked it. He sold his version at a much cheaper price than John Murray’s London version. He produced a card backed version printed on cheap paper for $2. Murray’s London version, which was a much better quality, was twice the price. Very few American first editions have survived as a consequence of the poorer quality and the copy in this exhibition shows signs of much yellowing of the paper and black mold spots. It looks an inferior book to both the French and English versions. I felt honoured to able to lean over the glass case and read the opening few lines of the Murray edition.

“Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence:…”

There were no such things as copyright laws in those days and both the French and American versions, probably unknown to Jane Austen, brought her no income. Later in the nineteenth century Dickens went over to America and tried to do something about copyright laws in America but to no avail and to his great consternation. The fact that copies of Emma were being published abroad within the first year of its initial publication in England tells us something about publishing and the book trade at the time. Money could be made from books.

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John Murray - NPG (Wikipedia)

John Murray – NPG (Wikipedia)

John Murray II was the head of the foremost publishing company in Britain. He was a hard headed business man and if he could get an advantage, especially, it seems over the authors he published he would. I think Jane Austen had the measure of him. Her brother Henry who had dealt with publishers for Jane initially became ill and Jane took over negotiations with Murray herself. She was very direct and firm in her dealings. She said of Murray, “He is a Rogue, but a civil one.” In corresponding with Murray over the publication of Emma, for instance, on 3rd of November 1815, a month before the publication of Emma, she writes,

“…I am at the same time desirous of coming to some decision on the affair in question, I must request the favour of you to call on me here, on any day after the present that may suit you best, at any hour in the evening, or any in the morning except from eleven to one. – A short conversation may perhaps do more than much writing.”

It sounds as though Murray has been given his marching orders and she isn’t going to have any truck with being messed about. She is firm but polite with the “Rogue.” She knows the power of a face to face encounter. Some of her contemporaries were perhaps not quite so strong with Murray but learned a lesson.

Domestic Cookery, 1813 ed (Wikipedia)

Domestic Cookery, 1813 ed (Wikipedia)

One of the exhibits on display, putting Jane Austen’s publishing experiences with Murray in context, is a book called Domestic Cookery, published by Murray in 1806. It was very popular and made a lot of sales and presumably a lot of money for Murray. It was written by Maria Rundell. Rundell had been paid £150 by Murray. She regarded Murray as a friend but she was not aware at first that her book had become such a bestseller. When she found out she felt that Murray was not upholding the copyright agreement he had with her. Eventually Murray paid her £2100 but kept the right to continue publishing the book himself. Jane Austen’s comments about him being “a rogue but a civil one” come to mind. Murray was obviously a very astute business man and could make money from trouble.

Another exhibit displays copies of books written by the French authoress, Germaine de Stael. She wrote books about Rousseau, Revolutionary Politics and Marie Antoinette’s trial. She was virtually banned by Napoleon Bonaparte. He had her book, De L’Allemagne pulped. Murray saw a chance. He took her on. In 1813 he used three printers to publish the French original and English translations simultaneously. He relied on anti-French feelings to make Stael’s books best sellers.

Madame_de_Staël (Wikipedia)

Madame_de_Staël (Wikipedia)

Jane Austen had her critics who made both good and not so good comments about her work. She took notice of what people said about her books and noted down these various opinions. Sir Walter Scott, her illustrious contemporary, who was also published by John Murray, wrote of Emma,

“We bestow no mean compliment on the author of Emma, when we say that keeping close to common incidents, and to such characters that occupy the ordinary walks of life, she has produced sketches of such spirit and originality that we never miss the excitation which depends upon a narrative of uncommon events, arising from the consideration of minds, manners and sentiments greatly above our own.”

Sir Walter Scott (Wikipedia)

Sir Walter Scott (Wikipedia)

It appears that Murray regularly sent copies of newly published books to other writers he published for their comments. This can be seen as eliciting positive comments from people who wanted to keep in with Murray. Jane Austen mentions in her letters to Murray how thankful she is for the copy of Waterloo he sent her to read and actually asks him if he has any more she can have a look at. This suggests she knows how to play the publishing game. She is as astute as Murray himself it seems. In one way Scott’s positive comments could be read as keeping in with Murray. If Murray and his publishing house does well and sells lots of books it can only benefit himself after all, but there is more to Scott’s review. I think he has recognized what is original in her writing. She is a realist. Her style is about everyday common occurrences and everyday people and she makes them heroic. People reading Jane Austen can see themselves and people they know in her writing. It is said that reading a novel is good emotional and psychological therapy, and Austen hit a powerful vein.

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Charlotte Bronte (Wikipedia)

The highlight of the whole exhibition for me, even more so than seeing and reading a first edition, is the actual letter Charlotte Bronte wrote to her publisher, W.S. Williams, on April 12, 1850, in which she writes a lengthy paragraph about her thoughts on Jane Austen and Emma. I found it easy to read Bronte’s  small, thin, precise handwriting that flows clearly across the page.

I have likewise read one of Miss Austen’s works—Emma—read it with interest and with just the degree of admiration which Miss Austen herself would have thought sensible and suitable.  Anything like warmth or enthusiasm—anything energetic, poignant, heart-felt is utterly out of place in commending these works: all such demonstration the authoress would have met with a well-bred sneer, would have calmly scorned as outré and extravagant.  She does her business of delineating the surface of the lives of genteel English people curiously well.  There is a Chinese fidelity, a miniature delicacy in the painting.  She ruffles her reader by nothing vehement, disturbs him by nothing profound.  The passions are perfectly unknown to her; she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy sisterhood…”

Bronte continues:

“What sees keenly, speaks aptly, moves flexibly, it suits her to study; but what throbs fast and full, though hidden, what the blood rushes through, what is the unseen seat of life and the sentient target of death—this Miss Austen ignores. “

And she goes on. Charlotte Bronte is actually agreeing with Scott’s comments when he describes her writing as

“……close to common incidents, and to such characters that occupy the ordinary walks of life”

The difference is that Scott makes his view a positive while Bronte makes her view a negative. I agree with what she says. Austen writes about the ordinary. Bronte on the other hand and her sisters wrote about,

 “what throbs fast and full, though hidden, what the blood rushes through, what is the unseen seat of life and the sentient target of death”

Charlotte Bronte is actually describing the differences between their two styles. I have read articles published on some blogs where the writer tries to pit Charlotte Bronte against Jane Austen. Who do you like the best? Who do you think is the better writer? And so on. These are a childish approach to comparing two great writers. Two geniuses. Their styles are different. Every one of us reads different types of books for different reasons at different times to fit, very often , our different moods. We can read a poem by Wordsworth one day and on other days a romantic comedy, a ghost story, a swashbuckling adventure, a horror story or maybe a present day thriller. We can enjoy each genre for what it is and what it brings to us. Austen and Bronte are not enemies, they are not one better than the other. They are different and we can enjoy both. I can imagine how Bronte could be critical. She had a harder life than Jane Austen. Her novels and those of her sisters, were full of passion and deep feelings and filled with great moral uncertainties testing the moral status quo to the limit. Their ideas made their lives worth living and helped them live their short lives with feeling. Jane Austen had a much easier existence. I can see how Charlotte Bronte might not understand Austen’s standpoint. She probably could not bear to live the way Austen’s characters are portrayed. However, we can love them both.

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The exhibition demonstrates many of the influences Jane Austen might have used in her writing of Emma. There is the suggestion, for instance, that the fictional places Highbury and Hartfield in Emma are modelled on Chawton and the local town Alton. These are in Hampshire but the novel is set in Surrey. Others I know would not agree. Some say Leatherhead in Surrey, which is near Box Hill, a major location in the book. Others suggest Highbury is a generic English village, and I think this more likely.

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In Emma Jane Fairfax plays a tune called “Robin Adair” on the newly arrived pianoforte. There is on display a copy of “Binder’s volume of printed keyboard and harp music, 1780-1815,” annotated and autographed by Jane’s sister Cassandra. It includes the music to “Robin Adair.” [Ed. You can read this online here: https://archive.org/details/austen1677439-2001 ]

There is a bound set of The Ladies Magazine (1770-1832) which provides sewing patterns for young ladies. It is the sort of magazine that Jane Austen had access too. In Emma, sewing and painting are pastimes for young ladies.

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A final display cabinet shows the influences that Emma has had on culture over the centuries. There are various spin-off novels, including the latest modern version of Emma written by Alexander McCall Smith. There are play scripts written by various playwrights turning Emma into a stage version. These include plays by Gordon Glennan and Marion MacKaye. There are a number of radio adaptations. One read by Prunella Scales, another by Jeremy Northam. There are the film versions and the films influenced by Emma such as Clueless set in modern times. Spin-off novels are represented by a copy of the latest Stephanie Barron mystery The Waterloo Map. [Ed. Note that this latest Barron mystery has Jane visiting Carlton House where she meets with the Prince Regent’s Librarian – this all really took place on 13 November 1815; he “suggests” that she dedicate her newest book, Emma, to the Prince Regent – Barron has her also coming upon a dead body in the Library…]

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The exhibition is definitely worth seeing and just as much is the opportunity to walk around Chawton House where Jane Austen herself and her family lived and breathed. I also took the opportunity to take a walk in the gardens. I came across a snake lying across my path as I walked up to the walled gardens. I must tell you that in all my life I only recall seeing two other snakes in Britain in the wild. This was a grass snake and was totally harmless. The adder is the only poisonous snake in Britain and they are very shy creatures. I think I saw one once in the New Forest.

Harmless grass snake on the path

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“Portrait of a Lady” at CHL

The people who volunteer at Chawton are wonderful. They want to talk to you and tell you things. I had a very amusing moment with an elderly gentleman volunteer at the top of the great staircase. He was sitting on the landing. When I approached he showed me an information leaflet and we discussed its contents. One thing it mentioned was the original William Morris wallpaper. I looked around and couldn’t see any. “Well, then where’s the wallpaper?” I joked. He laughed and said “come with me.” We walked half way down the staircase and then turned and got on our hands and knees. There indeed, almost hidden behind the balustrade, was a patch of darkened William Morris print. He also kindly showed me the large 1714 map of London displayed on the folding panels of a screen.

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We found Henrietta Street and other places associated with Jane Austen when she visited London. Then I went into the old kitchen which is used as a shop and cafe and met a lovely lady who told me she was the housekeeper. I had a delicious chocolate cake and a cup of coffee. All together I had a wonderful visit to the “Emma 200 exhibition.”

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Further reading:

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[All photographs c2016 Tony Grant unless otherwise indicated]

c2016 Jane Austen in Vermont

Julie Klassen’s The Secret of Pembrooke Park ~ Interview and Book Giveaway!

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I first had the pleasure of discovering Julie Klassen while on an camping trek along the East coast – I was looking for some late-night reading while tucked away in that comfortable Airstream bed. I cannot recall exactly how I first came upon The Apothecary’s Daughter – it may have been some kindle special, but though I didn’t know a thing about the author, nor that she was classified as a writer of “Christian fiction,” I loved the title and was hooked from the first page. Since then (and no longer stuck in that Airstream) I have read all of her eight novels, each of them a mix of mystery and romance, with gothic elements and literary illusions in abundance. You will find Jane Austen and the Brontes well represented, especially Jane Eyre.

Her first book The Lady of Milkwood Manor, tells the tale of unmarried motherhood, and each succeeding book focuses on a social issue of the Regency period and the plight of women in this constrained patriarchal world. And yes, there is the Romance, with various brooding Heroes vying for attention, great British houses with secrets to be unearthed, and lovely Heroines who are strong in the face of societal missteps, where faith plays a part in finding one’s way, and all adding up to a perfect read.

Today we are celebrating Ms. Klassen’s most recent book, The Secret of Pembrooke Park, currently on a blog tour sponsored by Laurel Ann at Austenprose, and where this book was awarded “Best Regency Era novel of 2014.” [the blog tour goes from February 16 – March 2nd]

In the spring of 1818, twenty-four-year-old Abigail Foster fears she is destined to become a spinster. Her family’s finances are in ruins and the one young man she truly esteems has fallen for another woman — her younger, prettier sister Louisa.

Forced to retrench after the bank failure of Austen, Gray & Vincent, the Foster family optimistically pool their resources for another London Season for her sister in hopes of an advantageous alliance. While searching for more affordable lodgings, a surprising offer is presented: the use of a country manor house in Berkshire abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to the imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left, the tight-lipped locals offering only rumors of a secret room, hidden treasure and a murder in its mysterious past.

Eager to restore her family fortune, Abigail, with the help of the handsome local curate William Chapman and his sister Leah, begins her search into the heavily veiled past aided by unsigned journal pages from a previous resident and her own spirited determination. As old friends and new foes come calling at Pembrooke Park, secrets come to light. Will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks…or very real danger?

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We are fortunate to have Julie join us here at ‘Jane Austen in Vermont’ for an interview. [Please see below for the Grand Prize Contest and book giveaway details]

Welcome Julie!

JAIV:  You heartily credit Jane Austen as the greatest influence in your writing – tell us how and when you first discovered her, and how she has continued influencing you. And what do you think it is about Jane Austen that she is more popular than ever, in both academia and popular culture?

JK:  I have been a fan of Jane Austen ever since I fell in love with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in the 1995 BBC/A&E adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Seeing it led me to read all of Jane Austen’s books and in turn, to set my novels in the Regency period, when her books were published. As far as her on-going popularity, no doubt experts could answer that better than I could, but for me her novels’ endless appeal lies in the ideal they depict–family affection, chivalry, romance, and true love triumphing over adversity–things so many of us long for. Jane Austen’s timeless humor is the icing on the cake!

JAIV:  You have many references to Jane Austen’s characters in all your novels. The Girl in the Gatehouse for GirlintheGatehouse_cover.inddinstance, reads like a sequel to Mansfield Park – a young woman sent from her home, her reputation compromised by the seduction of a rake of a man named Crawford – her name is Mariah, her sister Julia [though I do have to say I was happy not to see Mrs. Norris hanging about!].

In The Secret of Pembrooke Park, we have a handsome, intelligent and caring vicar – does he have a Jane Austen model? Tell us something of your research into the Anglican clergy during this time period.

JK:  The Girl in the Gatehouse is one of my favorites. I fondly call it my “ode to Jane,” since it has the most nods to Miss Austen. In The Secret of Pembrooke Park, the character of William Chapman was in a great way inspired by Austen’s wry and witty Henry Tilney in Northanger Abbey. (Although he is more like Edward Ferrars in that he hasn’t a living of his own, nor a wealthy benefactor).  Mr. Chapman is handsome and humble, godly and kind, but also a man’s man—athletic, good-humored, and hardworking. To research Anglicanism, I read biographies of 19th-century clergymen, attended several Anglican services in the US and England, and consulted the Book of Common Prayer. But it would take much more than that to become expert, so I had a London vicar’s wife read the manuscript to help me avoid errors. Her husband kindly answered questions as needed.

JAIV:  You write what is termed “Traditional Regencies” – i.e. more like Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer than Eloisa James and other “bodice-ripper” writers – Romance for sure with lots of butterflies, quivering lips, and stolen kisses, but no explicit sex scenes. [Jane Austen approves heartily!]. Has it been easy to find a publisher for your Christian-based tales? And have your three Christy Awards helped in spreading the word about your books?

JK:  When my first novel was published seven years ago, most historical fiction from Christian publishers was set in post-Civil War America. Now, there are many authors writing traditional regencies. Because of this, I am often credited with inspiring the growth of the genre in the inspirational market. I don’t know if the awards have helped or not, but I am certainly grateful and humbled to have won them!

JAIV:  Your books all strongly emphasize the power and presence of a Christian God – both your Heroines and Heroes go through times of doubt and loss and then embrace their faith to find themselves. Do you think this aspect of your work limits your readership? How has your own faith influenced your writing?

JK:  I came to faith in my twenties. Like the characters in my novels, I have made many mistakes in my life and am still far from perfect. But I have experienced forgiveness and second chances and this naturally weaves its way into my novels. Considering the time period, it would be more unnatural not to include things like church services and family prayers, which were a regular part of Jane Austen’s life as a clergyman’s daughter and common in society in general. As far as limiting readership, that’s the wonderful thing about publishing—we all like different kinds of books. A good thing, too, or we would need only a few authors rather than the broad spectrum writing today! As writers, the content we choose to include—or not to include—affects our readership. Some people avoid steamy novels, for example, and some avoid sweet ones. The books I write reflect the kind of fiction I like to read and who I am as a person. I appreciate reviews like this one from Booklist, that says, “…the author’s deft incorporation of the faith-based component of her story means this well-crafted romance will have wide appeal beyond inspirational romance fans.” And thankfully, this seems to be the case, because I hear from readers from various backgrounds who enjoy the books.

JAIV: Your epigraphs show a wide reading of early women writers, as well as Jane Austen’s works and letters – is there anyone you have read that you have enjoyed as much as Austen or Bronte [I know you love Jane Eyre!] who has influenced your own writing?

JK:  Thank you. I also love Elizabeth Gaskell, Frances Hodgson Burnett, and Georgette Heyer. And no one created characters like Charles Dickens!

Elizabeth Gaskell (1832) - wikipedia

Elizabeth Gaskell (1832) – Wikipedia

JAIV:  Each of your eight novels has a strong heroine who finds or places herself in a situation that reflects her Cover-SilentGovernesslimited choices as a woman: servant, governess, teacher, medicine healer, a novel-writer [think “Anonymous”!], etc. You cover the topics of unwed motherhood, the life of servitude, loss of inheritance, loss of reputation, herbal medicine, the “evils” of dancing, and more … all about women trapped in social and personal prisons. As a woman of the 21st century, it is difficult to imagine that world of 200 years ago. How do you get it right?

JK:  I am sure it helps that I love this time period—my favorite novels, costume dramas, blogs, and research books, are all set in or around this era. I spend a lot of time in Jane Austen’s letters and check my dialogue on an online etymology dictionary to make sure each word spoken was in use at the time. I sometimes have experts read sections or answer questions on certain topics (the military, cricket, blacksmithing, English country dancing, etc.). I am a member of JASNA and learn a lot through their meetings and speakers. And I go to England when I can. It’s an ongoing education! I am certainly fallible and make my share of errors, but I do my research and work hard to accurately portray the era. That said, I write fiction, not history, and occasionally take liberties for the sake of the story. When I do, I acknowledge this in my Author’s Note at the back of the books.

JAIV:  The Secret of Pembrooke Park is your longest novel to date, offering again your reader-pleasing combination of mystery, scary gothic elements, and of course Romance, to tell a tale where the reader is never quite sure who the Hero might be and how the mystery will play out – did you know when you set out on your writing journey how it would all be resolved?  Which brings us to: can you share with us your writing process? – do you start with a social issue, or a character, or a mystery to be solved?

JK:  I submit a synopsis to my publisher in advance, so I have a fairly good idea of how things will be resolved, but there is always room for surprises along the way. My process has evolved over the years and I’m still fine-tuning it. But I usually begin with a situation that intrigues me, e.g. a lady who finds herself working as a wet nurse, or having to go into hiding as a housemaid or, in this case, moving into a long-abandoned manor. From there, I think about what kind of character would be most interesting and satisfying to see in—and grow through—that situation. Specific plot points and twists develop from there.

JAIV:  Your next book is already available for pre-order: Lady Maybe, due out in July 2015. Can you tell us something about it? And, what’s up next??

Cover-LadyMaybeJK:  Lady Maybe (Berkley) is about a woman whose startling secrets lead her into unexpected danger and romance in Regency England. And then in December comes The Painter’s Daughter (Bethany House), which is my first novel with a marriage-in-name-only premise.

JAIV:  Thank you Julie for so generously sharing your thoughts on writing, your faith, and your forays into the Regency period! I very much look forward to your next two books – such a treat to have two in one year!

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Please leave a comment or a question for Julie and you will be entered into the Giveaway Contest!

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Grand Giveaway Contest 

Win One of Four Fabulous Prizes!

In celebration of the release of The Secret of Pembrooke Park, four chances to win copies of Julie’s books and other Jane Austen-inspired items are being offered.

Three lucky winners will receive one trade paperback or eBook copy of The Secret of Pembrooke Park, and one grand prize winner will receive one copy of all eight of Julie’s novels:

  • Lady of Milkweed Manor (2008)
  • The Apothecary’s Daughter (2009)
  • The Silent Governess (2010)
  • The Girl in the Gatehouse (2011)
  • The Maid of Fairbourne Hall (2012)
  • The Tutor’s Daughter (2013)
  • The Dancing Master (2014)
  • The Secret of Pembrooke Park (2014)

…and one DVD of Northanger Abbey (2007) and a Jane Austen Action Figure.

Secret Pembrook Park Blog Tour Prizes x 350
To enter the giveaway contest, simply leave a comment on any or all of the blog stops on The Secret of Pembrooke Park Blog Tour starting February 16, 2015 through 11:59 pm PT, March 9, 2015. Winners will be drawn at random from all of the comments and announced on Julie Klassen’s website on March 16, 2015. Winners have until March 22, 2015 to claim their prize. The giveaway contest is open to residents of the US, UK, and Canada. Digital books will be sent through Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Good luck to all!

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Author Julie Klassen 2015 x 200Author Bio:

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. Three of her books have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. She has also been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in St. Paul, Minnesota. Learn more about Julie and her books at her website, follow her on Twitter, and visit her on Facebook and Goodreads.

For more information:

-Twitter handles: @Julie_Klassen, @Bethany_House
-Twitter hashtags: #PembrookeBlogTour, #JaneAusten, #HistoricalFicton, #RegencyRomance, #Reading, #GothicRomance, #Austenesque

Publication info on The Secret of Pembroke Park:

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Remember, please leave a comment or a question for Julie here or at any of the other stops on the blog tour to qualify for the book giveaways by March 9, 2015. Blog tour stops are listed here: http://austenprose.com/2015/02/15/the-secret-of-pembrooke-park-blog-tour/

Thank you again Julie!

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c2015 Jane Austen in Vermont

More Austen on the Block! ~ A Jane Austen Portrait, First Editions, and More

UPDATE:  Prices realized [with buyer’s premium] are noted as made available

I wonder what is going on – I posted last week on several upcoming auctions with a number of Jane Austen offerings – and now I write about even more – there seems to an abundance, more than usual – why is this do you think??

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I will start with this, out of date order, but perhaps the most unique, interesting, (and expensive) to us:

Sothebys – 10 December 2013: English Literature, History, Children’s Books & Illustrations. London.

Lot 283:

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Austen, Jane – by James Andrews. PORTRAIT OF JANE AUSTEN.

watercolour over pencil heightened with gouache on card, depicting the author with brown curly hair and hazel eyes seated and facing towards the right, in a white frilled bonnet with light blue ribbon and a white dress with a dark blue ribbon under the bust, a small section at the bottom of the portrait apparently unfinished, oval, 143 x 100mm (overall sheet size 170 x 125mm), 1869, series of pin-holes at the top and bottom of the card, pencil markings probably by the engraver, mounted, framed, and glazed, frame size 327 x 247mm, the frame being a reused lid from a casket or box, French or German, probably eighteenth century, walnut inlaid with boulle-style marquetry of flowers and scrollwork in brass, silver, ivory, and mother of pearl, loss to surface of portrait probably due to insect damage, mostly affecting the dress, slight discolouration at edges seemingly where previously mounted in a rectangular frame.

The portrait of Jane Austen was commissioned by her nephew, James Edward Austen-Leigh, to illustrate his memoir of his aunt. This watercolor by painter James Andrews was the basis for the engraved version that is the best known and most reproduced image of Austen. It has been in the family ever since.

Estimate: £150,000 — 200,000 

[Note: For those of you in the New York area, this portrait will be on view from November 19 to 21 on the fourth floor of Sotheby’s, 1334 York Ave at 72nd St. Sotheby’s is open from 10 to 5. ]

There are other must-have items at this auction – see below [all are in chronological order]

***************

Swanns Galleries.  November 21, 2013. 19TH & 20TH CENTURY LITERATURE. Sale 2332.

Lot 4:

Swann-MP-11-21-13

AUSTEN, JANE. Mansfield Park. 2 volumes. Philadelphia: Carey & Lea, 1832.

4 page publisher’s catalogue inserted at front of volume 1. 8vo, original publisher’s 1/4 cloth-backed drab boards, lettering labels on spines (absent but for trace remnants on each volume, and with small contemporary institutional labels either perished or remnant only below on each volume), cocked, few short splits at spine tips, generally mild staining and light wear to boards, corners rubbed with light exposure; hinges tender, pastedowns coming loose from boards in volume 1, scattered foxing throughout, at times heavily to volume 2, occasional small chips at deckle, old penciled numerals on front free endpapers, paper repairs on 2 leaves in volume 1 with no loss of text; housed in custom drop-back cloth case.

First american edition, extremely rare in the original binding. One of 1250 copies printed. Few copies of any of Austen’s first American editions have survived. “No appearance of the 1832 M[ansfield] P[ark] at auction has been traced” (Gilson, rev. ed., 1997). A survey of ABPC and AE records only one unsophisticated copy sold in the last 30 years. Gilson B4.

Estimate $4,000 – 6,000 – Price Realized $5,376

_______

Lot 5:

Swann-P&P2nd-11-21-13AUSTEN, JANE. Pride and Prejudice. Second Edition. London: Printed for T. Egerton, 1813.

3 volumes. Lacking half-titles. 12mo, contemporary 1/2 calf over marbled boards, spine gilt with leather lettering pieces (two perished, one with partial loss), covers and spines scuffed with some splitting along spine ends, fore-edges bumped in areas, joints strengthened; scattered light foxing, neat contemporary ownership inscriptions on title-page of each volume.

The less common second edition. According to Gilson, the publishing history is rather furtive (“The size of the edition is not known”). It does differ from the first edition in that it is entirely reset, resulting in occasional variations within the page. In addition, there are numerous small changes to spelling and punctuation and, occasionally, a change in wording (see Gilson A4 for list of alterations.); Chapman 4.

Estimate $3,000 – 4,000 – Price Realized $4,096
________

Swann-novels-11-21-13Lot 6:  

AUSTEN, JANE. The Novels. Edinburgh: John Grant, 1911-12.

12 volumes. Portrait frontispiece to volume 1. 8vo, later 1/4 olive calf, spine gilt in 5 compartments with gilt-lettered morocco lettering pieces in 1, top edges gilt. the Winchester Edition, a bright and clean set. One of the more desirable editions of Austen’s works.

Estimate $800 – 1,200 – Price Realized  $1,875

____________________

Also of interest: [to me anyway!]- as well as some wonderful offerings in children’s literature, lots of Dickens, alas! only one Hardy, but some lovely Hemingways and Twains…

Lot 238:  

Swann-Steinbeck-11-21-13Steinbeck, John. ASSOCIATION COPY WITH ‘PIGASUS’ DRAWING.
The Grapes of Wrath
. New York: Viking, (1939)

8vo, publisher’s pictorial tan cloth, covers clean with virtually no rubbing or wear; outer pastedown edges with faint evidence of binder’s glue as usual, though with no offsetting to facing endpapers; first state dust jacket, mild rubbing to folds, small skillful restorations to spine panel tips and flap folds, bright and clean, a superb example with the original $2.75 price present.

First edition, an excellent association copy, inscribed on the front free endpaper “For Jules and Joyce and also Joan [underlined] with love John Steinbeck.” Below his signature Steinbeck added his “Pigasus” drawing. Jules Buck was a movie producer; he and Steinbeck made an early attempt toward a collaborative screenplay for what would become Elia Kazan’s “Viva Zapata,” though Steinbeck’s contribution was such that he received sole credit. Buck produced such post-war film classics as Robert Siodmak’s The Killers (based on the story by Ernest Hemingway), and Jules Dassin’s The Naked City. His wife Joyce Gates was an actress and their daughter Joan became the editor of French Vogue. Steinbeck generally reserved his flying pig doodle for close friends or significant occasions. In a letter (March, 1983) Elaine Steinbeck explained the significance of the image: “The Pigasus symbol came from my husband’s fertile, joyful, and often wild imagination … John would never have been so presumptuous as to use the winged horse as his symbol; the little pig said that man must try to attain the heavens though his equipment be meager. Man must aspire though he be earthbound” (The Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies). An excellent inscribed copy with a fine association. Goldstone & Payne A12.a.

Estimate $18,000 – 25,000 – Price Realized $18,750
_________

Swann-Cruikshank-11-21-13Lot 71: 

[Cruikshank, Isaac Robert]. UNRECORDED CRUIKSHANK (illus.). Mock Heroics, on Snuff, Tobacco, and Gin; And A Rhapsody on an Inkstand by J. Elagnitin. London: Hodgson and Co., 1822.

Frontispiece and 3 full page color engravings by I. R. Cruikshank. 8vo, contemporary full dark green crushed morocco, French fillet covers, spine decorated in gilt in compartments, all edges gilt, wide inner dentelles, by Riviere; tiny marginal repair on frontispiece, mild offsetting to title-page, else quite clean.

First edition of rare Cruikshank title with very bright, clean impressions of the plates. Shows London denizens taking snuff, on the pipe, at the debauch, and a more lonely pursuit. Not in Krumbhaar. 

Estimate $700 – 1,000 – Price Realized $469 

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Doyle, New York. Monday, November 25, 2013 at 10am Rare Books, Autographs & Photographs – Sale 13BP04

Lot 522:

Doyle-JAset-11-25-13-2AUSTEN, JANE. The Novels. Edinburgh: John Grant, 1911-12.

The Winchester edition. Twelve volumes, full blue morocco gilt, the spines elaborately tooled and lettered in gilt with red morocco lettering labels, top edge gilt. 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches (22 x 14 cm). A fine and attractive set.

Estimate $1,000-1,500

[Note: This set is similar to the one noted above, just with a different binding – which do you like best?]
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There is quite a collection of photographs and political collectibles at this auction, including this Tom Jones, Theodore Roosevelt’s copy:

Doyle-Fielding-11-25-13-2Lot 515:

FIELDING, HENRY. The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. London: printed for A. Millar, over-against Catharine-Street in the Strand, 1749. First edition, Theodore Roosevelt’s copy, with his “Qui plantavit curabit” bookplate to each pastedown. Six volumes, later full brown morocco gilt, all edges gilt. 6 1/4 x 3 3/4 inches (16 1/2 x 10 cm); with the errata leaf present in vol. I and with most called for cancels: Vol. I: B9, 10; Vol. II: N12; Vol. III: H8-10, M3; Vol. IV: B1, Vol. V: N8. [without the cancels at B4 and 5 in vol. II and Q11 in vol. III]. A 1910 inscription to front free endpaper on vol. I in an unknown hand, some foxing throughout, D10 in vol 2 with tear not affecting text, joints and extremities rubbed, losses to lettering labels, a sound set.
First edition of one of the earliest English works to be called a novel – with a very fine American provenance.

Estimate $2,000-3,000

********************

Sotheby’s auction December 5, 2013 New York:  Fine Books and Manuscripts, Including Americana

This is my birthday, so in case you are wondering what I might like, I will take any of these…

Lot 85:

Sothebys-S&S-12-5-13

Austen, Jane. Sense and Sensibility. London: Printed for the Author and published by T. Egerton, 1811.

3 volumes, 12mo (6 3/4 x 4 in.; 172 x 104 mm). Half-titles  (with the correct length of rules as called for) in all volumes but lacking the terminal blanks in each, lower corner of B2 torn away in vol. 1, very occasional and mostly marginal faint staining throughout. Modern three quarter tan morocco and linen cloth by Sangorski and Sutcliffe, red morocco labels.

Estimate: $20,000 — 30,000. Did Not Sell

_______

Lot 86:

Pride and Prejudice: A Novel. London: T. Egerton, 1813

3 volumes, 12mo (6 3/4 x 4 1/16 in.; 171 x 105 mm). Lacks half-titles, some staining and browning throughout but less so  in vols. 2 and 3, closed tear in gutter of first text page in vol. 1 and last of vol. 3,  front endpapers lacking in last Sothebys-P&P-12-5-13volume. Contemporary half calf and marbled boards, spines with six gilt-ruled compartments and black morocco labels, a little rubbed overall, with minor wear at head of volume 1.

Estimate: $20,000 — 30,000

SOLD for $46,875.

______

Lot 87:

Sothebys-MP-12-5-13Austen, Jane. Mansfield Park. London: Printed for T. Egerton, 1814

3 volumes. 12mo (6 7/8 x 4 1/4 in.; 176 x 105 mm). Lacking half-titles but terminal blanks present, lower corner of Q3 in vol. 1 torn away, vol. 3 pg. 175 with clean tear repaired, few light stray spots to title pages, but text  unusually free from staining and browning. Near-contemporary half calf and marbled boards, spines gilt in 5 compartments, red and black morocco labels; sides rubbed, vol.1 rebacked preserving spine, upper joint of vol. 3 starting.

Estimate: $7,000 — 10,000 – SOLD for $13,750.
_______

Lot 88: 

Sothebys-E-12-5-13

Austen, Jane. Emma: A Novel. London: Printed for John Murray, 1816.

3 volumes, 12mo (6 ¼ x 4 1/8 in.; 165 x 105 mm). Lacking half-titles; intermittent spotting and some staining, more so in vol. 2.  Near-contemporary half calf and marbled boards, spines gilt in 5 compartments with black morocco labels; some rubbing to sides and minor shelfwear along bottom edges, some skinning at top of spine ends.

Estimate: $7,000 — 9,000 – SOLD for $11,875.
_______

Sothebys-NA&P-12-5-13Lot 89:

Austen, Jane. Northanger Abbey: and Persuasion. London, John Murray, 1818.

4 volumes, 12mo (6 3/4 x 4 1/4 in.; 172 x 106 mm). Lacking half-titles; some very minor and mostly marginal spotting. Contemporary black half roan and marbled boards, spines ruled and gilt-titled; some rubbing to joints, slight wear at corners and along bottom edge, but a generally handsome set.

Estimate : $5,000 — 7,000 – SOLD for $8,125.

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Other items of interest at this auction:

Lot 92: Love this binding!

Sothebys-Cecilia-12-5-13

Burney, Frances. Cecilia, or Memoires of an Heiress. London: for T Payne and Son and T Cadell, 1782

5 volumes, 12mo (6 3/4 x 4 ins; 172 x 100 mm). Advertisement leaf present in first volume, vols. 2, 3, 5 lacking rear endpapers. Contemporary calf, rebacked to style with red morocco and green morocco labels.

Estimate: $2,000 — 4,000.
______

Lot 93:

Sothebys-Camilla-12-5-13Burney, Frances. Camilla: or a Picture of Youth.  London: for T. Payne, T. Cadell Jun and W. Davies, 1796

5 volumes, 12mo (174 x 102 mm). The occasional proud gathering and a few closed marginal tears to a handul leaves only. Contemporary speckled calf, single rule border to sides, spines with double-ruled compartments, green morocco labels; trace of rubbing to joints, upper joint of vol. 2 tender, but a lovely set.

Estimate: $3,000 — 5,000.
___________

Lot 96:

Sothebys-Byron-12-5-13Byron, George Gordon, Lord. Autograph verses for The Corsair. [1814].

Autograph fragment of two verses. 1 page (7 x 1 in.; 180 x 28 mm). Mounted in a portfolio with a portrait of the author; “And sad & lonely mid the holy calm /  Near Theseus’ fence y on solitary Palm.”

These two lines are the verses 1213 and 1214 of The Corsair, Canto III, published in 1814. In the edition of the Works of Lord Byron (Coleridge & Prothero, 1898-1905), the verses are: “And, dun and sombre ‘mid the holy calm, / Near Theseus’ fane yon solitary palm.”

Together with: autograph letter, signed (“Lord Byron” in third person). 1 page (8 5/3 x 6 7/8 in.; 219 x 175 mm), “13 Piccadilly Terrace, August 15th 1815”; to an unidentified correspondent: “Lord Byron presents his compliments to Mr. Juling [?] & would be glad to know if the letter of which he encloses the cover was not overcharged upon the [District?] stated on the address by the postman. The charge was thirteen pence half penny”. Formerly folded, soiling and foxing, tiny repair on the address. –Autograph address panel, cut from the address leaf of a letter addressed to his sister, August Leigh. 1 page (4 3/4 x 3 in.; 121 x 75 mm); wax seal; mounted in tinted roan folder.

Estimate: $4,000 — 6,000. 

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Sothebys – 10 December 2013: English Literature, History, Children’s Books & Illustrations. London

This auction includes the portrait noted above, but there a number of other offerings worth sharing: see the catalogue online where you will find a treasure-trove of children’s books and their illustrators  [Rackham, Tolkien, Potter, Robinson, Shepard, Pogany, Nielsen, Dulac, De Brunhoff, Carroll, Blyton, and more] , and also Johnson, Dickens, Pope, and Swift… and more…

Lot 284:

Sothbys-Bronte-12-10-13

[Brontë, Charlotte]. JANE EYRE. AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. EDITED BY CURRER BELL. SMITH, ELDER AND CO., 1847

8vo (198 x 124mm), 3 volumes, first edition of the author’s first published novel, half-titles, publisher’s 32pp. catalogue dated October 1847 at the end of volume 1, without the extra advertisement leaf present in some copies (no priority), original dark greyish reddish brown vertically-ribbed cloth, covers decorated in blind with triple line border enclosing decorative trellis-like border, pale yellow endpapers, tear to inner margin of T2 in volume 1 (not affecting text), small portion of lower outer margin of U3 in volume 2 torn away (also not affecting text), occasional foxing and browning to text leaves, lower hinges of volumes 1 and 3 starting, hinge of upper hinge of volume 2 slightly cracked, cloth at top of spine of volume 1 slightly chipped, further slight edge-wear to covers and some slight fading.

Estimate: £35,000 — 45,000 

____________

These are just fun!

Lot 219:

Sothebys-cards-12-10-13

Playing cards: Popish Plot cards. [LONDON: ROBERT WALTON, C. 1679 OR LATER]

52 cards, each 90 x 54mm., engraved with captions, grey patterned versos, 12 mounted in a frame, the rest in a folder attached to the back of the frame,  three cards somewhat worn (two of diamonds, ten of spades and ace of hearts), king of clubs torn with loss of club symbol.

Estimate: £2,500 — 3,000
_____

There are several other playing cards on offer as well – another example – because the images are fabulous!

Sothebys-cards_opera-12-10-13Lot 236:

Playing cards: The Beggar’s Opera [LONDON: JOHN BOWLES, C. 1730]

52 cards, each 95 x 62mm., engraved with the hearts and diamonds coloured in red, plain versos, 13 mounted in a frame, the rest in a folder attached to the back of the frame, a few cards cut close, a few light stains

Estimate: £3,000 — 5,000

____

Lot 335:

Sothebys-Cruikshank-12-10-13

Cruikshank, George. THE OUTRAGED HUSBAND.

165 by 228mm., ink and watercolour drawing, signed lower right, mounted, framed and glazed, some minor browning at extremities from former mount

Estimate: £1,500 — 2,000 

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Some great items to add to your wish list! – go to the auction catalogues for even more treasures! Happy hunting [and wishing…]

C2013 Jane Austen in Vermont

Austen on the Block!

Several interesting (and largely expensive!) items will be up for auction in the next month:

CHRISTIES: Sale 8952: Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts, 18 June 2013, London.

P&Ptp - christies 6-18-13Lot 174: 

AUSTEN, Jane (1775-1817). Pride and Prejudice. London: T. Egerton, 1813. 3 volumes, 12° (173 x 115mm). (Lacking half-titles, P2 at end of volume one with small marginal repair, tiny orange marginal mark to L5v of vol. II and lighter mark on a few other leaves, some spotting occasionally heavier.) Contemporary calf (rebacked, extremities lightly rubbed).

Second edition. Pride and Prejudice was written between October 1796 and August 1797 when Jane Austen was not yet twenty-one, the same age, in fact, as her fictional heroine Elizabeth Bennet. After an early rejection by the publisher Cadell, Austen’s novel was finally bought by Egerton in 1812 for £110. It was published in late January 1813 in a small edition of approximately 1500 copies and sold for 18 shillings in boards. The present second edition is thought to have been published in October that same year. Gilson A4; Keynes 4. (3)

Estimate: £3,000 – £5,000 ($4,527 – $7,545)

 

Lot 175: 

AUSTEN, Jane (1775-1817). Sense and Sensibility, London: printed for the Author and published by T. Egerton, 1813. 3 volumes, 12° (176 x 105mm). (Lacking half-titles and without final blanks, occasional light spotting.) Contemporary calf, gilt spines (joints splitting, corners very lightly bumped, small blank stain to vol. II). S&S - Christies 6-18-13

Second edition of Jane Austen’s first published novel which grew from a sketch entitled Elinor and Marianne, written in 1795 in the form of letters; it was revised 1797-1798 at Steventon; and again in 1809-1810, the first year of Jane Austen’s residence at Chawton. Thomas Egerton undertook the publication of the first edition in 1813 on a commission basis, and Jane Austen ‘actually made a reserve from her very moderate income to meet the expected loss’. The price of the novel was 15 shillings in boards and advertisements first appeared for it on 30 October 1811. The present second edition is believed to have been printed in October 1813 as the first edition sold out in less than two years. Gilson A2; Keynes 2. (3)

Estimate: £3,000 – £5,000 ($4,527 – $7,545)

Lot 192:

SETS, English and French literature — AUSTEN, Jane. Works. Illustrated by C.E. Brock. London: 1907. 6 volumes, 8°. Contemporary red half calf, spines lettered in gilt (extremities rubbed). [With:] ELIOT, George. Works. Library Edition. Edinburgh: 1901. 10 volumes, 8°. Contemporary blue half roan, spine tooled in gilt (spines evenly faded, extremities rubbed). [And:] BALZAC, Honoré de. Oeuvres completes. Paris: 1869-1876. 24 volumes, 8°. Contemporary red half roan, spines lettered in gilt (extremities rubbed). And 5 related others [ie. Maupassant, Corneille, Rabelais, Macaulay] in 33 volumes, 12° and 8°. (73)

Estimate: £500 – £800 ($755 – $1,207)

PP lizzy - brock

Brock – P&P

[Image from Mollands]

******************

Other items of interest at this Christie’s auction (i.e., what I would love to have!):

Lot 75:

ACKERMANN — Microcosm of London. London: T. Bensley for R. Ackermann [1808-1810, plates watermarked 1806-1808]. 3 volumes, 4° (330 x 272mm). Engraved titles, engraved dedication leaves, and 104 hand-coloured aquatint plates by Buck, Stadler and others after Rowlandson and Pugin. (Lacking half-titles, light offsetting from the plates onto the text, some text leaves evenly browned.) Late 19th- early 20th-century red half calf, spine gilt in compartments, morocco labels (spines lightly and evenly faded).

ackermann london - christies 6-18-13

ONE OF ACKERMANN’S FINEST BOOKS, the rumbustious figures of Rowlandson are the perfect foil to Pugin’s clear and accurate architectural settings. Printing continued for nearly 30 years but, as Abbey notes, the ‘original impressions of these splendid plates have a luminous quality entirely absent from later printings’. This copy is evidently bound from the original parts: with the first issue of the contents leaf in volume 1, and all the errata uncorrected in volumes 2 and 3, and 5 out of 6 errata corrected in volume 1. This copy shows 2 of Abbey’s first state points for the plates: at plates 8 and 11 in volume 1. Abbey Scenery 212; Tooley 7. (3)

Estimate: £3,000 – £5,000 ($4,527 – $7,545)

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BONHAMSBooks, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs 20752, 19 Jun 2013 London.

Lot 139: 

S&S1st - bonhams 6-19-13[AUSTEN (JANE)]. Sense and Sensibility: a Novel. In Three Volumes. By a Lady, 3 vol., first edition, without half-titles, final blank leaf present in volume 2 only, some pale foxing and staining, contemporary calf, sides with gilt and blind-tooled borders, rebacked preserving most of original backstrips and red morocco labels [Keynes 1; Gilson A1; Sadleir 62a], 12mo (173 x 104mm.), Printed for the author, by C. Roworth… and published by T. Egerton, 1811. FIRST EDITION OF JANE AUSTEN’S FIRST PUBLISHED NOVEL. According to Keynes, Egerton printed no more than 1000 copies, priced at 15 shillings in boards; all were sold by the middle of 1813.

Estimate: £15,000 – 20,000  US$ 23,000 – 30,000 €18,000 – 23,000

 

*****************

 

Also of note in this auction: a first edition of Jane Eyre

Lot 147: 

[BRONTE (CHARLOTTE)]. Jane Eyre. An Autobiography, 3 vol., first edition, with all but two of the printing flaws listed by Smith, half-titles in each volume (but without the additional fly-leaf and advertisements), volume 2 with additional 8-page ‘Ready Money Price List of Drawing & Painting Materials… Alexander Hill’ tipped-in on front free endpaper (seemingly removed from other volumes), original price of “31/6” marked in pencil on front paste-down of volume 1, a few leaves slightly creased, some light foxing and occasional soiling in margins, UNTRIMMED IN PUBLISHER’S GREY BOARDS with grey/brown diaper half cloth spine, rubbed, spine label to volume 1 chipped with loss of 2 or 3 letters, split to lower joint of volume 2, crease to upper cover of volume 3, [Sadleir 346; Smith 2; Grolier, English 83], 8vo (199 x 122mm.), Smith, Elder, and Co., 1847janeeyre - bonhams 6-19-13

 

Footnotes

FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST BRONTE SISTERS NOVEL: AN EXTREMELY RARE VARIANT IN ORIGINAL BOARDS, ENTIRELY UNTRIMMED AND WITH THE ORIGINAL PRICE OF ’31/6′ MARKED IN PENCIL. The binding seems to correspond with Smith’s variant B (allowing for some fading of the cloth over the years), but with white rather than yellow endpapers and a further slight variation in the printed spine labels, those on the present set having no semi-colon after “Eyre” and the words “In Three Volumes” inserted above the volume number. We can find no trace of any other copy in original boards having sold at auction.

Provenance: the tipped-in small price list of drawing and painting materials suggests an Edinburgh connection at or soon after the time of publication. Alexander Hill (of Princes Street, Edinburgh, younger brother of the painter David Octavius Hill) was publisher, artists’ colourman and printer to the Royal Scottish Academy from 1830 until his death in 1866. In 1847 he was also appointed printseller and publisher in Edinburgh to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (see National Archives, LC 5/243 p.61). The price list tipped-in to this copy gives Hill’s address as 67 Princes Street, where he had a shop from 1839 until his death, and mentions the royal appointment, reference to which he seems to have dropped by 1853.

Estimate: £30,000 – 50,000  US$ 45,000 – 75,000 €35,000 – 58,000

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BONHAMS:  Fine Books and Manuscripts 20981: June 25, 2013, New York

Lot 3259

[Austen, Jane]. Northanger Abbey: and Persuasion. With a Biographical Notice of the Author. London: John Murray, 1818. 4 volumes. 12mo (180 x 105 mm). [2], xxiv, 300; [2], 331, [2], 280; [2], 308 pp. Without half-titles. Period half calf over marbled boards, spines gilt. Extremities rubbed, typical light spotting and toning, pp 251-262 in vol 3 creased at outer margin, ffep. in vol 1 loose, volume 4 more so with a crack down spine, a little re-touching to vol 2 spine.

NA P 4v- Bonhams image

Provenance: T. Hope (early ownership stamps); purchased by the family of the current owner in 1960 from McDonald Booth. FIRST EDITION IN CONTEMPORARY BINDING of Jane Austen’s last published work, issued a year after her death. Persuasion was in fact her first novel, but its first appearance is in this set. This was also her only four-volume publication, all previous works were issued in “triple-deckers.” Gilson A9; Sadleir 62e.

Estimate:  US$ 5,000 – 8,000 £3,300 – 5,300 €3,900 – 6,200

 

Lot 3260: 

E - bonhams 

[Austen, Jane]. Emma: A Novel. In Three Volumes. By the author of “Pride and Prejudice” &c. &c. London: Printed for John Murray, 1816. 3 volumes. 12mo (176 x 112 mm). [6], 322; [2], 351, [1]; [4], 363, [1 ad] pp. Half-titles in vols 1 & 2. Old green marbled boards rebacked to style in calf, green morocco spine labels. Intermittent spotting and browning; vol 2 L8 with corner tear crossing a few letters.

FIRST EDITION. Emma is the only one of Jane Austen’s novels to bear a dedication, to the Prince Regent. It was her fourth novel to be published with a print run of 2000 copies. Gilson A8; Sadleir 62d.

Estimate:  US$ 8,000 – 12,000 £5,300 – 8,000  €6,200 – 9,300

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And finally, this letter from Frances Burney to her father comes to auction in just a few days:

Dreweatts / Bloomsbury auction: Important Books & Manuscripts – 30th Anniversary Sale,30 May 2013 London

Lot 171:  

burney letter - dreweatts 5-30-13

Burney  (Frances [Fanny], married name D’Arblay, writer, 1752-1840) Autograph Letter initialled “FB d’A” to her father, Charles Burney, “My dearly beloved Padre”, 4pp. with address panel, 8vo, Chenies Street, 12th June 1813, lamenting that she had not been able to visit him, “but some Giant comes always in the way. Twice I have expected Charles [Charles Burney (1757-1817), schoolmaster and book collector; brother of Fanny], to convey me: but his other engagements have made him arrive too late”, social activities, “Yesterday I dined with Lady Lansdowne, & found her remarkably amiable. She is niece to a person with whom I was particularly acquainted of old, at the Queen’s house, Mr. Digby, who was vice Chamberlain; & that made a little opening to converse… Lady Anne was in high spirits, & full of sportive talk & exhilarating smiles. We had no sort of political talk. All was elegant, pleasing, & literary”, and Sir Joshua Reynolds portrait of Dr Burney, “Every body talks of your portrait at Sir Joshua’s exhibition, & concurs in saying it is one of the best that greatest of English Masters ever painted. I have not yet, to my infinite regret, found time for going thither. Mrs. Waddington will positively take me once to Chelsea, to pay her respects to you; but she is prepared for being denied your sight, if you should be ill-disposed for company. Sally must see her at all events: besides she is a great admirer of Traits of Nature”, ink postal stamp, remains of red wax seal, folds, slightly browned.

*** Unpublished; not in The Journals and Letters of Fanny Burney (Madame D’Arblay), edited by Joyce Hemlow & others, Oxford, The Clarendon Press, 1972-75.

Estimate: £3,000-4,000

[Images and text from the respective auction sites]

c2013, Jane Austen in Vermont

A Web Round-up ~ All Things Austen [and a little bit of Bronte]

Since I am flunking blogging this week, I will just share some links that I have seen or heard about in the past week  “all things Austen” of course with a few others thrown in for interest:

An article at Salon.com by Laura Miller:  The battle for Jane Austen: Great novelist, chick-lit pioneer, vampire. Will the real Miss Austen please stand up?  [are YOU sick of zombies and sea-monsters and vampires?] [and thanks to Ellen M for the link]

Penguin Classics On Air has  interviews with Sheila Kohler, author of Becoming Jane Eyre, and the Austen scholar Juliette Wells, who speaks on the Brontes, their contribution to literature, and her love of teaching the writings of the Victorian era.

Visit the Austenonly blog and scroll down through the almost daily posting on Emma in celebration of the new Masterpiece Classic’s BBC Emma to be shown FINALLY in the US starting tomorrow night [Sunday January 24, 2010] and then see of course…

 The Masterpiece Classic Emma site which offers previews, reviews, background story, cast bios, and online viewings of the film [which will debut Monday the 25th].  Masterpiece will also be hosting a wild and crazy “Twitter Party” on Sunday night during the show- click here for more information on how to participate [reason enough to finally register yourself on Twitter and join the “tweeting” world at last!]

JASNA-NY co-sponsored the Morgan Library Masterpiece Emma event this past Wednesday night.  There are three videos from this evening’s events now on YouTube for your viewing pleasure [with thanks to Janeite Kerri from JASNA-NY for the tip and links!]:

the Morgan Library curators Declan Kiely and Clara Drummond on Austen’s letters in the exhibition:

and Rebecca Eaton, executive producer of Masterpiece Classic on Emma:

 

And Alessandra Stanley at the New York Times weighs in on this latest Emma – see her review “It’s Still Mostly Sunny at Hartfield”.

[Posted by Deb]

Charlotte Bronte ~ April 21, 1816

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Happy Birthday! to Charlotte Bronte, born April 21, 1816 in Thornton, Yorkshire. 

I just had the good fortune to finally visit Haworth and tour the Bronte Parsonage.  One of the special extras was the display of the various costumes worn in the latest BBC production of Wuthering Heights [but alas! no pictures allowed!] 

I append here a few of my photographs of the Parsonage as well as several links for further reading…

 

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Main Street, Haworth

Main Street, Haworth

 

 

Further Reading:

The Bronte Blog, an excellent source for all things Bronte –  various links to the e-texts, other web sites, a bibliography of sources, etc.

The Bronte Parsonage Museum & Bronte Society

The Bronte Family

A Few Words on Elizabeth Gaskell

PBS Masterpiece will be showing Cranford May 4, 11 & 18.  It has an all-star cast, to include Judi Dench, Eileen Atkins, Imelda Staunton and others. [see PBS Masterpiece for a preview and cast information.]   Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell (1810-1865) is most known to us as the author of the then-controversial biography of Charlotte Bronte, where she laid bare the oddities of the Bronte household, publicizing the behavior of the semi-mad father and the destructive life and affairs of the son .   But she was a well-respected and popular author in her own day and we are now perhaps seeing a resurgence of that popularity with the broadcast of Wives & Daughters, North & South, and the soon-to-be-seen Cranford.  So I give a brief outline of her life and works, with a few references for further reading. 

Born in Cheshire to William Stevenson, a Unitarian minister, Elizabeth was raised by her aunt, the sister of her mother who died shortly after her birth.  The town of Knutsford and the country life she experienced there became her setting in Cranford and her “Hollingford” in North & South.  She married William Gaskell of Manchester, also a Unitarian minister, in 1832, had four daughters and one son, who died in infancy.  The loss of her son had a devastating effect on her and to keep herself from sinking into an ever-deeper depression, she took pen in hand and started to write.  She published her first book Mary Barton in 1848 (using the pseudonym Cotton Mather Mills), though there is some speculation that she actually started to write Sylvia’s Lovers (1863) first but put it aside to write the more socially-conscious Mary Barton.  Gaskell, according to Lucy Stebbins, was chiefly concerned with the ethical question of “The Lie”, i.e a belief that “deception was the greatest obstacle to the sympathetic understanding which was her panacea for individual and class quarrels.” (1)  This reconciliation between individuals of different classes and between the wider world of masters and workers was her hope for humanity and it was this zeal that often led her into false sentiment in her novels and stories.(2)  But because she saw both sides of the labor question and pitied both the oppressor and the oppressed, she was thus able to portray with often explicit candor the realities of her world.  But Stebbins also says that life was too kind to her as a woman to make her a great artist.  Her tales of vengeance and remorse were written more to satisfy public taste, after she started publishing in Dickens’ Household Words.  And David Cecil calls Gaskell “a typical Victorian woman….a wife and mother”….he emphasizes her femininity, which he says gives her the strengths of her detail and a “freshness of outlook” in her portrayals of the country gentry, while at the same time this femininity limits her imagination.  In comparing her to Jane Austen, Cecil writes:

         “It is true Mrs. Gaskell lived a narrow life, but Jane Austen, living a life just as narrow, was able to make works of major art out of it.  Jane Austen…was a woman of very abnormal penetration and intensity of genius. ….. [Gaskell] cannot, as Jane Austen did, make one little room an everywhere; pierce through the surface facts of a village tea-party to reveal the universal laws of human conduct that they illustrate.  If she [Gaskell] writes about a a village tea-party, it is just a village tea-party…”(3)

   Cecil is critical of her melodrama, her “weakness for a happy ending”, her overlong works that lack imagination and passion.  But he does credit her four major works (Sylvia’s Lovers, Cranford, Wives & Daughters, and Cousin Phillis) as classic and worthy English domestic novels. 

Anne Thackeray Ritchie, in her introduction to Cranford, published in 1891, also compares Gaskell to Austen, and finds the latter lacking:

Cranford is farther removed from the world, and yet more attuned to its larger interests than Meryton or Kellynch or Hartfield….Drumble, the great noisy manufacturing town, is its metropolis, not Bath with its successions of card parties and Assembly Rooms.” …. and on love, “there is more real feeling in these few signs of what once was, than in all the Misses Bennett’s youthful romances put together…only Miss Austen’s very sweetest heroines (including her own irresistible dark-eyed self, in her big cap and faded kerchief) are worthy of this old place….”  and later, “it was because she had written Mary Barton that some deeper echoes reach us in Cranford than are to be found in any of Jane Austen’s books, delightful though they be.” (4)

Margaret Lane in her wonderful book of essays on biography, Purely for Pleasure [which also includes the essay “Jane Austen’s Sleight-of-hand”], has two essays on Mrs. Gaskell.  Lane calls her one of the greatest novelists of the time, and especially praises Wives & Daughters over Cranford for its stature, sympathies, mature grasp of character and its humour, and its effect of “creating the illusion of a return to a more rigid but also more stable and innocent world than ours” and we feel refreshed in spirit after a reading. (5)

Wives & Daughters, Gaskell’s last work, and considered her finest, was published as a serial novel in Cornhill, the last unfinished part appearing in January 1866.  Gaskell had literally dropped dead in the middle of a spoken sentence at the age of 55, and the work remained unfinished, with only a long note from the Cornhill editor following the last serial installment.  Wives and Daughters tells the story of Molly Gibson and her new stepsister Cynthia, and their coming of age in the male-dominated mid-Victorian society of “Hollingford.”

But it is Lane’s essay on “Mrs. Gaskell’s Task” in which she so highly praises Gaskell’s achievement in her biography of Charlotte Bronte.  While Gaskell obviously suppressed some facts (the letters to M. Heger) and exaggerated others (Mr. Bronte as a father and Branwell as a son), Lane says “her great biography remains a stirring and noble work, one of the first in our language…. and it is in essence ‘truer’ than anything about the Brontes which has been written since…”(6)

Such contrary opinions!…certainly reminiscent of Austen’s admirers and critics!    Perhaps as Pam Morris says in her introduction to W&D, “Gaskell resists any simple categorization…her work ranges across the narrative forms of realism and fairytale, protest fiction and pastoralism, melodrama and the domestic novel.” (7)  I confess to having only read the Bronte biography and that years ago…but I have also had three of her novels (MB, C and W&D) sitting on my TBR shelf for many a year….I see a great task ahead in order to give Gaskell her just due! (or do I dare just see the movies??!)

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Notes:

1.  Stebbins, Lucy Poate. A Victorian Album: Some lady Novelists of the Period (Columbia, 1946) p. 96.

2.  Ibid.

3.  Cecil, David.  Victorian Novelists: Essays in Revaluation (Chicago, 1962) p. 187.

4.  Ritchie, Anne Thackeray.  Preface to Cranford (Macmillan, 1927) pp. vii, xix.

5.  Lane, Margaret.  Purely for Pleasure (Hamish Hamilton, 1966)  p. 153.

6.  Ibid, p. 170.

7.  Morris, Pam.  Introduction to Wives and Daughters (Penguin, 2001) p. vii.

* Both illustrations above are from the London Macmillan edition of Cranford, illustrated by Hugh Thomson (originally published in 1891). This copy is also available at the Illustrated Cranford site.

Further references:

The Gaskell Information Page which includes many links to other information, societies, etc.

The E-Texts of all her works.

A few biographies: by Angus Easson (London, 1979); Winifred Gerin (Oxford, 1980); Aina Rubenius, The Woman Question in Mrs. Gaskell’s Life and Work (Upsala, 1950); Jenny Uglow, Elizabeth Gaskell: A Habit of Stories (London, 1993)1

And see also the recent Jane Austen Today Blog where Ms. Place discusses Cranford along with an interview with Judi Dench.

Mrs. Gaskell’s Works:

  1. Mary Barton: A Tale of Manchester Life, anonymous (2 volumes, London: Chapman & Hall, 1848; 1 volume, New York: Harper, 1848);
  2. Libbie Marsh’s Three Eras: A Lancashire Tale, as Cotton Mather Mills, Esquire (London: Hamilton, Adams, 1850);
  3. Lizzie Leigh: A Domestic Tale, from “Household Words,” attributed to Charles Dickens (New York: Dewitt & Davenport, 1850);
  4. The Moorland Cottage, anonymous (London: Chapman & Hall, 1850; New York: Harper, 1851);
  5. Ruth: A Novel, anonymous (3 volumes, London: Chapman & Hall, 1853; 1 volume, Boston: Ticknor, Reed & Fields, 1853);
  6. Cranford, anonymous (London: Chapman & Hall, 1853; New York: Harper, 1853);
  7. Lizzie Leigh and Other Tales, anonymous (London: Chapman & Hall, 1855; Philadelphia: Hardy, 1869);
  8. Hands and Heart and Bessy’s Troubles at Home, anonymous (London: Chapman & Hall, 1855);
  9. North and South, anonymous (2 volumes, London: Chapman & Hall, 1855; 1 volume, New York: Harper, 1855);
  10. The Life of Charlotte Brontë; Author of “Jane Eyre,” “Shirley,” “Villette” etc., 2 volumes (London: Smith, Elder, 1857; New York: Appleton, 1857);
  11. My Lady Ludlow, A Novel (New York: Harper, 1858); republished as Round the Sofa (2 volume’s, London: Low, 1858);
  12. Right at Last, and Other Tales (London: Low, 1860; New York: Harper, 1860);
  13. Lois the Witch and Other Tales (Leipzig: Tauchnitz 1861);
  14. Sylvia’s Lovers (3 volumes, London: Smith, Elder, 1863; 1 volume, New York: Dutton, 1863);
  15. A Dark Night’s Work (London: Smith, Elder, 1863; New York: Harper, 1863);
  16. Cousin Phillis: A Tale (New York: Harper, 1864); republished as Cousin Phillis and Other Tales (London: Smith, Elder, 1865);
  17. The Grey Woman and Other Tales (London: Smith, Elder, 1865; New York: Harper, 1882);
  18. Wives and Daughters: An Every-Day Story (2 volumes, London: Smith, Elder, 1866; 1 volume, New York: Harper, 1866).

(this list from the Edgar Wright Gaskell Page)