For the first time, all three volumes of Jane Austen’s brilliant early manuscripts are available in beautiful facsimile editions.
Forever immortalized as the author of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen actually produced her first “book” as a teenager, Volume the First. Taking its name from the inscription on the cover, this brilliant little collection includes the stories, playlets, verses, and moral fragments she wrote likely from ages twelve to eighteen. The volume was produced for the enjoyment of her family and close friends—entertaining it was and is!
Now it is available for all of us to see.
As a young author, Jane Austen delighted in language, employing it with great humor and surprising skill. She was adept at parodying the popular stories of her day and entertained her readers with outrageous plotlines and characters. Kathryn Sutherland’s introduction places Austen’s earliest works in context and explains how she mimicked even the style and manner in which this contemporary popular fiction was presented and arranged on the page. The work of a young adult, Volume the First nevertheless reveals the development of the unmistakable voice and style that would mark her as one of the most popular authors of all time. None of her six famous novels survives in manuscript. This is a unique opportunity to own a likeness of Jane Austen’s hand in the form of a complete manuscript facsimile.
Volume the First, housed at the Bodleian Library of the University of Oxford, includes the following stories: “Frederic & Elfrida,” “Jack & Alice,” “Edgar & Emma,” “Henry & Eliza,” “Mr Harley,” “Sir William Mountague,” “Mr Clifford,” “The beautifull Cassandra,” “Amelia Webster,” “The Visit,” “The Mystery,” “The three Sisters,” “Detached peices,” and “Ode to Pity.”