TLDR: We are publishing Jane Austen's masterpiece, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, in a way which brings the novel back to its roots. We use printing and bookbinding techniques from Austen's time, and a design which would have fit right into Austen's world.
Jane Austen has long been regarded as one of the greatest writers in literary history. American literary critic, Edmund Wilson, claimed, "Only two reputations have never been affected by the shifts of fashion: Shakespeare's and Jane Austen's."
Austen’s novels in general, and Pride and Prejudice in particular, have not just endured as literary classics. They have in fact risen in popularity over the centuries, a testament to Austen’s genius at deftly weaving superb literary skill and sly comedy in a critique of social values.
In 1913, one hundred years after the novel’s publication, British writer and commentator, John Walsh said, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that Pride and Prejudice is the nation's favourite novel.” Today, more than two hundred years after its publication, it is considered one of the most loved books in the world.
It is with great excitement and pride, therefore, that we announce that Thornwillow Press is publishing a very special edition of this beloved classic that Austen herself described as her “own darling child.”
Allow us to introduce you to PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, a letterpress printed and hand-bound book . . .
The endurance of Pride and Prejudice’s popularity is testament to the fact that Austen’s characters and what they live through are part and parcel of the human condition. Cultural norms and expectations have changed, but women are still chafing at a lack of independence, and people are still beset with the same worries and joys. Pride and prejudice, vanity, unrequited or real love, the arrogance of youth and money, foibles and flaws, remarkable strength and courage, erroneous first impressions—it’s the stuff of good storytelling, and the fiber of what it means to be human.
Of the thousands of versions of Pride and Prejudice out in the world today, this exquisitely crafted, collectible Thornwillow edition is the one that Austen herself would have admired and had on her bookshelf. Who are we to argue with her excellent taste?
This edition is made exactly as a book would have been made in Austen's time. Allow us, then, to take you into the world of Elizabeth Bennet . . .
Why this edition of P&P?
At Thornwillow Press we believe books are a pleasure for the soul and the senses, and have no doubt Jane Austen would have agreed wholeheartedly. “When I have a house of my own,” says Miss Bingley in Pride and Prejudice, “I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”
We’re excited to return this beautiful classic to a format with which Austen would have been familiar, and also to bring something entirely unique to this project. We believe a novel of this caliber deserves the best. Therefore, we are making an edition that would have fit in perfectly on Austen’s own bookshelf, using the same time-tested craftsmanship, techniques and style of the Georgian period. We have chosen historically accurate greens for the leather and cloth bindings on this letterpress, hand-bound edition, and we are also using a high end laid paper: the predominant paper used in the pre-mechanical era of printing. Most fitting, we are using a replica of the wallpaper in Austen’s home for the boards.