How Much is a Jane Austen First Edition Worth?

alex atkins bookshelf booksToday, July 18, 2017, marks the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s (1775-1817) death. Like fellow British writers Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare, Austen is a perennial literary sensation — her works have never been out of print over two centuries. Her first novel, Sense and Sensibility, was published anonymously (the title page simply stated “BY A LADY”), as a three-volume set in 1811, selling out just two years later. Following Sense and Sensibility, Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), Emma (1815), Northanger Abbey (1817), and Persuasion (1817). Austen began a seventh novel, Sanction, in 1817 but died before it was completed. Austen’s popular six novels have inspired more than 70 TV and film adaptations and thousands of books. To get a sense of the impressive Austen canon, type in “Jane Austen” into the Amazon search field and you will find 14,594 books (compare this with 40,203 books about Dickens and 134,625 books about Shakespeare!). Naturally, a bibliophile (especially a Janeite bibliophile) wonders: what would a first edition of each of Jane Austen’s cost? Excellent question. According to current prices at AbeBooks, an entire set of first editions of Jane Austen six novels would set you back $190,000. Serious coin — about the cost of a college education in America. The most valuable books in the set are Pride and Prejudice and Emma. Interestingly, all the first editions were published as multiple volume sets. Here is the value of each first edition:

Sense and Sensibility: $30,000

Pride and Prejudice: $45,000

Mansfield Park: $20,000

Emma: $45,000

Northanger Abbey: $25,000

Persuasion: $25,000

Read related posts: The Best Books About Jane Austen
The Books that Influence Us
What to Read Next
Why Read Dickens?
Most Famous Quotations in British Literature
Famous Love Quotes from Movies

For further reading: Jane Austen: A Life by Claire Tomalin
Becoming Jane Austen by Jon Spence
The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen by Edward Copeland
https://www.janeausten.org/jane-austen-movies.asp

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