“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
Beloved Jane Austen is most notably known for her six major novels. Most dear to both my heart and to Austen’s is Pride and Prejudice, published in 1813. Of her creation, Austen says, “I must confess that I think her as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print.” Special Collections houses a first edition Pride and Prejudice, the first edition to be printed in one volume in 1833. Along with this, Special Collections houses first editions of Emma, Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park, and Love & Friendship, her work from adolescence.
These editions include beautiful artwork, spines, and boards. Below shows the elaborate gilt stamped floral pattern on maroon paper boards on the cover of Love & Friendship, and the title pages for Pride and Prejudice and Emma.
Along with these wonderful works, Special Collection houses A memoir of Jane Austen by her nephew, J. E. Austen Leigh, which includes her posthumously published novel Lady Susan along with her abandoned novel The Watsons.
Though she was only with us for 41 years, Jane Austen lead a rich life which transferred to her novels. Her sister, Cassandra, inspired the sisterly love shown in many of her stories. Austen even was proposed marriage by Harris Bigg-Wither, though she refused the proposal the next morning. In a letter to her niece about the almost marriage, Austen states “nothing can be compared to the misery of being bound without love”.
If you would like to explore our Jane Austen collection or other notable writers, Special Collections is located on the fifth floor of McFarlin Library. We are open 8-4:30pm. If you would like to explore any other part of our collections, we are open to questions at firstname.lastname@example.org