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10 March 2022 - 10 March 2022
1:00PM - 2:00PM
Please join us at this Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Studies Research Seminar, hosted by Durham University’s English Studies Department and the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies.
Austen became increasingly well known throughout the nineteenth century, a fact reflected in the emergence of a variety of different editions of her works. The price as well as the materiality of these editions – size, paper, type, illustrations – give some indication as to who an edition was aimed at and how each was expected to be read. Throughout the century, novels initially published in expensive editions – usually the three-decker, at 31s 6d – took years, even decades, before they were available in cheaper formats. It was only towards the end of the nineteenth century that significant numbers of initially expensive novels were published at a price that a mass readership could afford.
The cheapest editions of Pride and Prejudice were two Sixpenny editions, published in the 1880s by Routledge and John Dicks respectively, which gave a non-elite readership access to Austen’s novel, with print runs far higher than those of the better known and more upmarket editions. This paper focuses on the materialities of these cheap editions, including, crucially, illustrations, to explore some of the many ways in which Austen’s texts were mediated in the late nineteenth century.
Professor of Nineteenth-Century Literature and Head of the School of Society and Culture at the University of Plymouth
Professor Annika Bautz's publications include books and essays on Jane Austen, Walter Scott, Edward Bulwer-Lytton and George Eliot, and on the history of the book in the Romantic and Victorian periods.