Austen on the Block ~ Mansfield Park at Auction

Another auction with one Jane Austen title:  a first edition of Mansfield Park sold today at Sotheby’s for $21,250 ~

Sotheby’s  Fine Books and Manuscripts, Sale N08602, 
11 Dec 09, New York.  Session 2

 Lot 75 ~ AUSTEN, JANE

10,000—15,000 USD
Lot Sold.  Hammer Price with Buyer’s Premium:  21,250 USD


Mansfield Park. London: Printed for T. Egerton, 1814    1st edition. 

3 volumes, 12mo (6⅞ x 10 in.; 750 x 553 mm). Half-titles, paper watermarked 1812; (1): tear to lower right corner of C1, loss of lower right corner of G7; (2): top of title-page cropped, closed tears on H6–7 touching 2 lines of text, loss to lower right margin of O3, lacks terminal blank O4; (3) loss to right margin of B5, loss of right upper corners of I7–8 costing one letter on I8v, lacks advertisement leaf R4 at end. Contemporary half polished calf over marbled boards, ruled in gilt, smooth spines gilt, endpapers and edges plain; joints cracked or starting, head of spines of vols. 1–2 chipped, waist and foot of spine of vol. 3 chipped. Red morocco backed folding case.


There were also a number of Shakespeare titles sold, a Dickens, a George Eliot, as well as an early illustrated Frankenstein by Mary Shelley:



5,000—7,000 USD
Lot Sold.  Hammer Price with Buyer’s Premium:  7,500 USD

Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus. Revised, Corrected, and Illustrated with a New Introduction by the Author. London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, 1831 

Bound with:  Charles Brockden Brown. Edgar Huntly; or The Sleep Walker, London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bently, 1831

 2 works in one volume, 8vo (6¼ x 4 in.; 159 x 102 mm). Engraved frontispiece and title-page vignette in Frankenstein by T. Von Holst; lacks final blank in vol. I, paper adhesion on II:B3r costing one word on A8v. Nineteenth-century full polished calf, central frame tooled in blind, gilt foliate border, the spine gilt in 5 compartments (2 reserved for red and green morocco lettering pieces), marbled endpapers and edges; minor rubbing at spine ends. Quarter brown morocco folding case.

First illustrated edition and third edition overall of Frankenstein, from “Bentley’s Standard Novels Series” (Vol. IX, first series), with Brown’s novel being Vol. X. In her introduction, Mary Shelley states that the alterations she has made to the novel are “principally those of style. I have changed no portion of the story, nor introduced any new ideas or circumstances. I have mended the language where it was so bald as to interfere with the interest of the narrative; and these changes occur almost exclusively in the beginning of the first volume [the 1818 first edition was issued in three volumes]. Throughout they are entirely confined to such parts as mere adjuncts to the story, leaving the core and substance of it untouched” (p. xii).

[All images from the Sotheby’s catalogue] –  for the catalogue and complete sale results, see the Sotheby’s website.

[Posted by Deb]

‘Dancing with Mr. Darcy’ ~ and the winner is…..



book cover dancing mr darcy

[Addendum:  since announcing the winner yesterday, I discover that “ivory spring” has a wonderful website and blog about quilting, so I append those links here for all to peruse [she is currently hosting a giveaway as well]- and she tells me that her next project will be an Austen-inspired  sampler called “the daughters of Longbourn”! ]


 The drawing for the copy of the Chawton House Library anthology Dancing with Mr. Darcy is complete and the copy goes to ……  ” ivoryspring “ ! ~  if you could please send me an email with your address, Ms. Ashfeldt will post the book to you right away.  Thank you all for your comments and great questions – and a special thank you to Lane Ashfeldt for her terrific and thoughtful comments [please check out her latest comment on my interview post where she discusses writing short historical fiction], AND for the offer of the book!  

As for the title of the book being researched by Miss Campbell in the story “Snowmelt”, I append here Lane’s response:  [and kudos to Alexa Adams for the correct answer!]    



Hello Janeite Deb and readers, thanks for the replies and entries to the Dancing with Mr Darcy giveaway competition.  Deb had asked you to name the book referred to in my story, “Snowmelt”.  The book mentioned in ‘Snowmelt’ is Mary Shelley’s The Last Man, first published c. 1826 when it was credited as “by The Author of Frankenstein.”.(Like Austen who had preceded her by just a few years, Mary Shelley faced stigma if she were to let her name appear in print.) Her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, had recently died when she wrote it, and her grief over his sudden loss is a likely source of her inspiration: ‘The Last Man’ begins in 2073 and its theme is the wiping out of the human race by the year 2100.  ‘Snowmelt’ and Miss Campbell, with her worries over the end of the world and the end of the book, were already in progress when I came across ‘The Last Man’, so the book was a perfect match. I borrowed a line or two from it (credited, of course), so it feels like payback time to send a copy of Dancing with Mr Darcy to the winner, with my congratulations.

 Lane Ashfeldt  

[Posted by Deb]