Mansfield Park: a Novel. In three Volumes … Second Edition.

London: Printed for J. Murray … 1816.

3 vols., 12mo., bound without the half-titles and the terminal blank in vol. ii; very occasional light foxing; a very good copy in contemporary half calf and pink marbled boards, rubbed, joints worn, spines coming away; from the libraries of T. Hope (stamped label) and Linda Hannas, the historian of jigsaw puzzles, with her note calling attention to a dissected map at I, 33.

£3750

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Second edition, revised. This is the only one of Jane Austen’s novels with textual revisions of any significance. She ‘seems in general to have prepared the text for the first editions of her novels with the greatest care, so that they contain few misprints, and the alterations made in the later editions consist usually only of unimportant details’ (Keynes, TLS, 30 August 1923). In Mansfield Park, however, there are a number of more substantial revisions of the nautical terminology, probably on advice from one of the sailor brothers, Francis or Charles.

The passage in question (III, 150-1) concerns young Sam Price’s first ship, The Thrush. For the ship ‘was under weigh’ (1814), we now read ‘she had slipped her moorings and was coming out’ (1816); for ‘she lays just astern of the Endymion, with the Cleopatra to larboard’, we read ‘she lays close to the Endymion, between her and the Cleopatra, just to the eastward of the sheer hulk. “Ha! cried William, “that’s just where I should have put her myself. It’s the best birth at Spithead ...”’ [this last sentence entirely new text], and further slight changes in a similar vein.

Egerton’s poor printing of the first edition of Mansfield Park in 1814, his lack of expertise in marketing the book and unwillingness to risk another edition, as well as his behaviour over Pride and Prejudice – issuing a second edition without her knowledge – were all factors in Jane Austen’s decision to entrust this second edition and her subsequent novels to Murray.

Keynes 7; Gilson A7.

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Mansfield Park: a Novel. In three Volumes. By the Author of “Pride and Prejudice” ... second Edition.

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