Steampunk Inspirations

Gifting Jane Austen: A History of Her Novels as Gift Books

One of the gifts I gave this year was a copy of Sense and Sensibility to a dear friend.

Johns Hopkins University Press Blog

Guest post by Janine Barchas

 

Today puts another candle on the birthday cake of novelist Jane Austen, born 16 December 1775. Conveniently, Austen’s birthday coincides with the December gift-giving season. If you are thinking about making a holiday present of a Jane Austen novel to that budding (or confirmed) Janeite in your circle, you are spoiled for choice. In conjunction with the 200th anniversary of the original publication of Pride and Prejudice, this calendar year has witnessed a mushrooming of both new and newly repackaged Austen editions in a wide range of binding styles and price points.

In your choice of edition and inscription you may, however, want to reflect upon the long-standing history of the Jane Austen “gift book.” Whereas this year Jane Austen novels in both hardcover and paperback formats have been aggressively prettified in the stalwart fight against the e-book, these same stories have long…

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