Rare chance to see rare edition of 'Pride and Prejudice'

Photo of three book volumes
The first edition in 'publishers' boards'.

A near-perfect first edition of one of the most popular novels in the English language has gone on display in Edinburgh.

Published in 1813, 'Pride and Prejudice' was Jane Austen's second novel. The author herself was the first to fall in love with it, describing it as 'my darling child'.

Since then the book has hardly been out of print, with film and television dramatisations bringing the story to the attention of millions during the 20th century alone. Zombies have even found a place in modern retellings of Austen's Regency romantic comedy.

In immaculate condition

The first edition in the National Library of Scotland's collections is the centrepiece of a display celebrating 200 years of this literary and popular classic. Published in three volumes, it is bound with 'publishers' boards' — plain coloured covers, rather than decorative bindings.

It is believed that the first print run was between 1,000 and 1,500 copies, and few have survived in such immaculate condition.

'200 years of "Pride and Prejudice": From Austen to zombies' runs until 15 September, and is open daily.

Read more in our treasures display press release.

10 July 2013

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