PRIDE AND PREJUDICE BY JANE AUSTEN 1894 FIRST PEACOCK EDITION, HUGH THOMSON ILLUSTRATIONS - A NEAR FINE COPY
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[AUSTEN, JANE]. Pride and Prejudice, with a Preface by George Saintsbury and Illustrations by Hugh Thomson. London: George Allen, 1894.
First 'Peacock Edition'. Cloth-bound. Hardcover. Octavo (185 x 130 x 35 mm). Pp. xxvii, [i], 476. Publisher's original blue cloth elaborately blocked and lettered in gilt to front cover and spine with the famous image of a fully blossomed peacock perched on a sundial. All page edges gilt. Coated endpapers. Half-title present. 160 line drawings by Hugh Thomson including frontispiece, decorated title page, part-page and full-page illustrations, decorative initials and chapter headings. There is a facsimile inscription: " To J. Comyns Carr, In acknowledgment of all I owe to his friendship and advice, these illustrations are gratefully inscribed. Hugh Thomson." The Preface is provided by George Saintsbury. Printed at the Chiswick Press:- Charles Whittingham and Co., Tooks Court, Chancery Lane, London. Condition: NEAR FINE. Binding tight, secure and square. Covers remarkably clean with minor bumping to spine ends, the points and edges sharp. Interior largely very bright and clean, with just a touch of intermittent foxing to preliminary leaves; without previous ownership markings. An exquisite copy and scarce thus.
Notes: This is the renowned "Peacock Edition" of Austen's classic, which is generally considered to be the finest illustrated interpretation of Jane Austen's popular novel and is presented in one of the most lavish and aesthetically pleasing pictorial gilt bindings of the period. A near fine copy, illustrated by Hugh Thomson, who was one of the most notable book illustrators of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and his illustrations for Jane Austen's novels remain widely regarded as classics in the field. Known for his attention to detail, Hugh Thomson would often spend a great deal of time in museums researching the lifestyles and dress of the characters he was depicting, Thomson started working on his drawings for "Pride and Prejudice" in 1893. They proved an immense success, selling over 10,000 copies in the few years after they were released. He would go on to illustrate many of Austen's other novels.