Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre

Smith, Elder, and Co., Cornhill

1847

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Description

First edition, without publisher's adverts or notice for the Calcutta Review found in some copies, and with the half-titles. 

  • Sold as a set of 3.
  • Charlotte Brontë (English).
  • London: Smith, Elder, and Co., Cornhill, 1847.
  • [iv] 304; [iv] 304; [iv], 311, [1] pp. 3 vols.
  • Octavo.
  • Bound in three-quarters nineteenth-century calf with marbled boards, spine with gilt, marbled edges.


The first published novel by the Brontë sisters, done in a small edition of about 500 copies. It was immensely popular, and drew passionate and strongly divergent opinions from both readers and critics, and it was speculated that the author was a woman. It was republished the following year, dedicated to Thackeray, with a new preface, and a third edition quickly followed.


"Jane Eyre's impassioned individualism and personal acts of rebellion against authority and social convention were seen as vigorous and powerfully original, but also as alarmingly analogous to political ferment of the time" (ODNB). One of the first novels to master the first-person voice of its heroine in its full expression, it opened the door to the interiority of the novels of Joyce, Proust and Woolf, who wrote about the novel in The Common Reader:

"As we open Jane Eyre once more we cannot stifle the suspicion that we shall find her world of imagination as antiquated, mid-Victorian, and out of date as the parsonage on the moor, a place only to be visited by the curious, only preserved by the pious. So we open Jane Eyre; and in two pages every doubt is swept clean from our minds....The writer has us by the hand, forces us along her road, makes us see what she sees, never leaves us for a moment or allows us to forget her. At the end we are steeped through and through with the genius, the vehemence, the indignation of Charlotte Brontë."

Literature

Wolff 826a.

Sadleir 846a.

Ashley I:72.

Grolier, English 83.

David Magee Victoria R.I. 117.

Smith 2.

Condition Report
Revive
Fair
Good
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Like New

Some rubbing around edges.

Chip to head of spine of volume II.

Light spotting to pages.

Armorial bookplate of Robert Smith Parrish p. 87-89.

Feature(s)
First Edition
Language
English
Subject
Novels, English literature and history
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