Mini-Post | “Northanger Abbey” and “Persuasion”

On this day in 1817, Jane Austen’s final two novels, “Northanger Abbey” and “Persuasion”, were first advertised for publication posthumously.

They were published together, along with a Biographical Notice of the Author, written by Austen’s brother, Henry Austen. Throughout her writing career, Austen had published anonymously, so this was the first time her identity had been revealed to her readers.

Henry Austen wrote of his sister:

“If there be an opinion current in the world, that perfect placidity of temper is not reconcileable to the most lively imagination, and the keenest relish for wit, such an opinion will be rejected forever by those who have had the happiness of knowing the authoress of the following works.”

See the full Biographical Notice here.

For invaluable detail about the publication of Austen’s novels, check out David Gilson’s chapter “Editions and Publishing History” in “The Jane Austen Companion”, edited by D. J. Grey, W. A. Litz, B. C. Southam and H. A. Bok (New York: Macmillan, 1986).

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