On this day in 1811, an advertisement for the novel Sense and Sensibility “By A Lady” appeared in the London newspaper The Star no. 7690. This was Jane Austen’s first published work and her entre into literary history.
Published by Thomas Egerton of the Military Library publishing house in London, it was priced at 15s and printed in three volumes. It was printed at the author’s expense. She also owed a commission to the publisher on sales. Her gamble paid off as all 750 copies sold by July 1813. She made a profit of £140 on the first edition which is about £4,754.40 in today’s currency. A second edition was advertised in October 1813. This year, a first edition of Sense and Sensibility sold at auction for £38,000. Quite a tidy sum indeed.
*Jane Austen, a family record, by Deirdre Le Fay