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Emma first edition sells for GBP 79k

17th December 2010

A first edition of Jane Austen's Emma has sold for GBP 79,250 on the 235th anniversary of the author's birth.

The copy of the classic novel, which was sent by Austen to fellow novelist Maria Edgeworth shortly after its publication in 1815, went under the hammer yesterday (December 16th) at auction house Sotheby's in London.

Edgeworth's signature is found on the title page of the novel, even though she was not the greatest fan of the work.

Writing about Emma to her half-brother Charles Sneyd Edgeworth, she criticised: 'There was no story in it, except that Miss Emma found that the man whom she designed for Harriet's lover was an admirer of her own & he was affronted at being refused by Emma.'

The auction also saw copies of Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion that were previously owned by Martha Lloyd, Austen's closest friend, go up for sale.

Other books sold in the auction included a copy of Charles Dickens' The Pickwick Papers, which sold for GBP 67,250, and a collection of poems by Oscar Wilde inscribed to William Morris, which commanded a price of GBP 25,000.
 

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