Oxford: Oxford—At the Clarendon Press, 1923. First Edition thus. Quarter-Cloth. Five volumes complete of this collected critical edition of Austen's novels, with notes, indexes, and illustrations from contemporary sources. Large-Paper Edition, limited to 1,000 sets (unnumbered), of which 950 are for sale. Tall, thick 8vo: ,xii,,3-429,; xiii,,3-415,; xii,,3-567,; xi,,5-521,; xiii,252,310pp, with chromo-collotype frontispieces (one, for Mansfield Park, is drawn from a Humphrey Repton landscape design treatises, including movable flap), 41 halftone plates, engraved plans of London and Bath, and type facsimiles of first- and second-edition title pages. Uniformly bound in publisher's original slate blue quarter-cloth over blue-and-white marbled paper-covered boards, cream spine labels printed in black, top edges rough-trimmed, fore- and bottom edges untrimmed. Old gold embossed bookstore label in each volume to bottom corner of front paste down: "The Book Shelf The Doctors Bldg.15 Garfield Pl. Cincinnati, O." Lacking the very scarce dust jackets. Bottom edges and corners shelf-rubbed; several pages carelessly opened, with wrinkling and tiny chips to top edges, none affecting text, else a superior example of this sought-after set. Gilson E150. Keynes 40. Chapman 18. Near Fine+. Item #BB1755
Chapman is credited for establishing Austen’s canonical status, and his are still considered the definitive texts (according to Keynes, "The text is the most authoritative yet published, and is never likely to be improved."). Each volume includes an Index of Characters and three Appendixes, some of which are substantial, such as Chapman's Essay on Miss Austen's English in the first volume, pp -421. In reviewing this edition, E. M. Forster especially admired the illustrations, which he called "beyond all praise." N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, carefully preserved in archival, removable polypropylene sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).