Is This Too Much Money Or Not Enough for a First Edition of Pride and Prejudice?

Illustration for article titled Is This Too Much Money Or Not Enough for a First Edition of iPride and Prejudice/i?
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A first edition of Pride and Prejudice is coming up for auction and estimated to go for as much as $23,390. OK, but is that too much, or too little?

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The New York Post reported that auctioneer Bonhams is thinking somewhere between $17,400 and $23,390 for the book. On one hand: That is a significant amount of money, enough to buy a new car. On the other: This is one of the most beloved novels in the English language! People have probably spent that on building costume collections for dressing up as Jane Austen characters. Lizzie Bennet would think it an absurd amount; it’s pocket change to Emma Woodhouse

I feel like I’m looking at that optical illusion that’s a beautiful young woman and also a rude crone. Could we get some help from a rare books expert over here before my brain explodes?

Senior Editor, Attic Haunter, Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

thehighwomaninthecastle
The High Woman In The Castle

This book has always made me uncomfortable, and I often find I’m in the minority on this.

The bulk of Darcy’s desire for Lizzie is about her rejection. He’s into her because she’s the one woman he can’t have and who doesn’t want him. (Initially.) To his credit, Darcy doesn’t try to wear Lizzie down, but he does act like having a romantic interest and being decent to her is doing her this huge favor. Darcy also didn’t realize he was an asshole until Lizzie rejected him, which prompted him to change. Okay great but that sends the terrible message that the power of a good and righteous woman will motivate a man to change.

Everything Darcy does is motivated by extrinsic benefits, which is pretty sad, but this book celebrates it.

Plus the book implies that Darcy “risked” a lot to marry Lizze when in reality he was a wealthy white landowner in Victorian England. He’d have to do a lot more than “marry down” to lose his boatload of wealth.

I know, I know. The cheese stands alone on this one.