Mint condition copy of Sense and Sensibility

This tome serves as the perfect companion to another auction in this category, a copy of Austen's seminal, humorous novel, Emma. Sense and Sensibility, Austen's first novel, was published in 1811, after having been serialized in the late 18th century in a magazine. This tome offers readers all serialized chapters of the original work, bound together as one for the utmost convenience. Sense and Sensibility tells the story of the impoverished Dashwood sisters. Marianne is the heroine of "sensibility" - of openness and enthusiasm. She becomes infatuated with John Willoughby, who seems to be a romantic lover but in reality is an unscrupulous pleasure seeker. He deserts her for an heiress, leaving her to learn a dose of "sense" in an entirely unromantic marriage with Colonel Brandon, a bachelor, 20 years her senior. On the other side of the coin rests Marianne's older sister, Elinor, the guiding light of "sense," (prudence and discretion) who ends up married to her lover, Edward Ferrars. The novel presents a fascinating study in the differences between the two sisters and the ways in which they choose to go about their lives and make decisions. Values are challenged in the face of love, and the sisters are forced to make decisions that forever change their lives. Less humorous than Emma, this tome serves as a shining moral example for readers and at the same time, as a pleasant diversion for them. But like all of Austen's works, this one is not free from satire or witty comments concerning the main characters or even the peripheral ones. The picture of the author below is from the collection of the National Portrait Gallery of London, and is circa 1810.
Current Price: 2 pounds
Gulliver's Travels

By Jonathan Swift, published first in 1726, this is a travel novel equaled perhaps only by Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. Both are shipwreck stories, but Defoe published his before Swift. Readers get transported away to the land of Brobdignag and Laputa. Though entirely fictional, the fanciful adventures Swift's main character undergoes are entirely enjoyable, especially those that take place in the land of the lilliputians, who are so tiny that Gulliver, an Englishman, is a giant in his midst. This novel makes for excellent reading not only for adults, but children as well as a result of the extremely imaginative nature of the contents. For the adult readers, however, there is a marvelous upper level to the work, as the first portion of the book is a glorious satire of English politics (this takes place in Lilliput). The satire continues in the land of Brobdignag, which is inhabited by giants 12 times the size of Mr. Gulliver. Here, Gulliver is sold to the queen of the giants, and the ample opportunities for satire are seized upon by the author heartily. This volume is handsomely bound in half calf, with gilt edged pages, and a beautifully tooled spine. Thus, the high starting bid. But for fantastical adventure stories, it is one of the best, and thus a worth investment - one can learn from it and at the same time appreciate the craft of fine bookmaking (nothing to do with gambling). Good luck, bidders.
Current Price: 7 pounds
Paradise Lost

John Milton wrote a book, first published in 1674, that, while not considered a novel like many of the other fine works of literature offered for sale on this site, is still required reading, just as it was for many of the authors who wrote the other books available for purchase on Ye Old eBay. Milton's work on this book is still being studied to this day with keen eyes, and undoubtedly will continually be examined by academics and read for personal edification by the general population for years to come. The book makes a nice companion to another up for auction currently - The Pilgrim's Progress. This book chronicles man's fall from grace, one of the most monumental events in the Christian tradition, next to the life of Jesus Christ. This daunting topic Milton settled on in about 1650 after deciding that writing a great epic was not to be his calling. And we would like voice our pleasure with the author's choice of topic, even if constructed in the form of an epic poem in blank verse. The first edition, dated 1667, is rare nowadays, and was issued in 10 books. Subsequent re-issues in 1668 and 1668 are easier to come by, but this copy, though produced at a later date is definitely more than simply a "serviceable" copy. Much of this work was modeled on other classics, including the works of Homer and Virgil's Aeneid. Milton's work focuses as much on Satan and his legions as it does on God, Adam and Eve. Truly, Milton has tacked an immense and important subject, and has done so with remarkable grace and ability. This is a work of literature well worth the time of every reader, Christian or not. This, along with the bible and the aforementioned Bunyan title make the perfect cornerstone for the library of any Christian citizen under rule of the Crown, regardless of income or class level. Wade through Milton's endless rhymes and be rewarded. Though man may have fallen from grace, reading this seminal work is likely to bring anyone closer to their maker. A picture of the book's title page can be seen below.
Current Price: 2 pounds
The Pilgrim's Progress

John Bunyan's book has become so popular, that the auctioneers thought it might not be worth of auction at all, but then again, not everyone in the Empire has a copy. But nearly everyone. Thus, the copy being offered here is not the most exquisite with regard to bookbinding or craftsmanship, but rather a handbook of sorts that can be casually perused at the leisure of the owner. Bidding starts at a very reasonable one pound. For those who have been living under a very large rock for quite some time, this allegorical work is not a novel, per se, but most definitely falls under the category of literature, and since its initial publication in 1678, has become a staple work for Christians and used extensively to teach their beliefs through the books dense allegorical content. The symbolism in the book is not very sophisticated. A tale of conversion, the work focuses on a character named Christian and his pilgrimage to the Heavenly City in the first part of the book. Because it recapitulates in symbolic form the story of Bunyan's own conversion, there is an intense, life-or-death quality about Christian's pilgrimage. A sense of urgency is established in the first scene as Christian in the City of Destruction reads in his book (the Bible) and breaks out with his lamentable cry, "What shall I do?" It is maintained by the combats along the road with giants and monsters such as Apollyon and Giant Despair, who embody spiritual terrors. Further terrors encountered mirror Bunyan's own life, too. But the story should be left to the author to tell. The book became an instant upon its publication. Find out why. Bid now. Makes an especially wonderful gift for that friend who may be converting to Christianity, or for your children upon the day they receive their first holy communion. A picture of the author clutching his bible can be seen below.
Current Price: 1 pound

Written in 1740 by Mr. Samuel Richardson, this book, in its day, was something of a cultural phenomenon. This is your opportunity, dear bidder, to find out why. Though the novel was immensely popular, Richardson was severely criticized by those who thought his heroine (Pamela) a calculating tease and at the same time, the author's own morality to be dubious. The book, subtitled "or virtue rewarded," is written from an entirely novel (pun intended) standpoint - one where letters are being exchanged between a young woman (Pamela) and her parents, from whom she is apart. Innocent Pamela is being pursued by her master, and as a result, the contents of each letter she writes grow more and more fascinating as the book wears on. On the death of Pamela's mistress, Richardson relates, her son, Mr. B, begins a series of mild stratagems designed to end in Pamela's seduction, but, these failing, he abducts her and pursues her in earnest. Pamela manages to maintain and preserve her virtue. Mr. B offers marriage halfway through the novel. In the second half Richardson shows Pamela winning over those who had disapproved of the misalliance. She is a sadly perplexed girl of 15, with a divided mind, who faces a real dilemma because she wants to preserve her virtue without losing the man with whom she has fallen in love. Since Richardson wrote the novel from Pamela's point of view, it is less clear that Mr. B's problem arises from his having fallen in love with a servant, who, traditionally, would have been merely a target for seduction. Richardson grew up around the written word and made his living as a printer (rather successfully, I might add). With such experience at his fingertips, how can his writing be anything but lively? Despite being parodied by Joseph Andrews (his novel being called An Apology for the life of Miss Shamela), Richardson's slightly romantic tale told in a new and engaging fashion remains a pleasant diversion for those who care to take the time and nominal fee to secure a sound copy of the book like the one being offered for sale here. Richardson's novel was also attacked by Eliza Haywood. Originally printed in two volumes, one is being offered here for the convenience of the high bidder. Richardson went on to write other, more successful novels, including Clarissa: or the History of a Young Lady. Join a success story - bid on Pamela today! A picture of the author can be seen below.
Current Price: 5 pounds
Love in Excess

In 1719, Haywood's Love in Excess, was published and caused quite a stir among her contemporary critics. The romance novel that it is, Love in Excess, critically acclaimed or not, made a splash and the author a fair amount of money. Studies in 18th-Century literature often fail to acknowledge the prodigious achievements and popularity of Eliza Haywood. All the more reason to pick up the copy of the book being auctioned here on Ye Old eBay. Beginning with Love in Excess, Haywood continuously catered to the reading audience's every craving. While some steadfast scholars and critics of 18th Century writing maintain that Haywood's works do not qualify as "high" or classical literature because of the sexual content of her novels, she should not be overlooked. As hundreds of hack novel writers attempted to arouse the reading public with simplistic tales of lust, passion, and desire (akin to putting Fabio on the cover of their books), Haywood stunned readers by maintaining complex and well developed plots, intriguing themes, and lively characters within the confines of what often times became a genre cheapened by lurid texts. There is a saying, clich=E9 though it may be, that "imitation is the most sincere form of flattery." If that is the case, then Haywood, were she still alive, would be flattered to death by the countless imitators attempting to duplicate what she succeeded with in Love in Excess. This book offers a wonderful window into the female world for men who care to take the time to wade through it. This is a handsome volume, at home on your library shelf and ready to send to your humble abode. Carriage is extra.
Current Price: 5 pounds
The Vicar of Wakefield

The Vicar of Wakefield is the story of a kindly reverend who, having lost his fortune, relocates his family and tries to live a peaceful life. However, many trials befall him and his family, and only his unswerving faith aids virtue to win out in the end. This book is openly sentimental but also gaily humorous, with a charm that has endured for generations of readers. This novel follows on the heels of the author's successful tome, The Traveller, which quickly ran into some four editions. At the time of Goldsmith's death in 1774, the book had run into another five editions, for a total of nine. His writing is obviously pleasing to the mind of the populous Empire, is it not? The Traveller, however, was much more of a large book of essays than anything else - this volume is much more the novel as opposed to the dry writing of that popular tome. All the more reason to bid on this auction. Who hasn't desired a comfortable chair, spare time and a wonderful volume of fiction at one time or another. The tale spun by Goldsmith in this book is at the same time amusing and educational in the moral sense. It makes insightful (and some might say inflammatory) comments about the clergy and the kinds of things that the people in England place value on. It gives readers a glimpse of what exactly one slice of life might be like for people like the kindly reverend, the book's main character. To date, the book has not done well financially speaking, despite going through four editions. This is no indication of the quality of the volume, but simply proof that its publishers haven't the faintest idea of what sort of work they have on their hands. Bid now, bid often, win the auction and find out what the rest of the world has been missing out on. The Vicar of Wakefield is worth your time. And pounds.
Current Price: 5 pounds

Jane Austen began writing Emma in 1814, though it was not published until 1816, and then it was anonymous (as were all of Austen's novels initially due to the prejudices of her times). Emma Woodhouse, the novel's heroine (of sorts) is endowed with wealth, good-looks, prestige and is, moreover, well aware of how clever she is. The story involves Emma's friends and family and her meddling in their lives. Along the way there is much in the way of heartbreak, romance and detailed, subtle character development. It is widely considered to be Austen's finest work and the one that most fulfils her ambition to present the lives of a small community of "3 or 4 families in a Country Village" realistically and excitingly. It is often very amusing and is a wonderful depiction of the workings of a well-meaning but ill-directed mind wishing to act selflessly. For those who are not of the same class (financial) status as the individuals depicted in the book, Emma makes for not only pleasant reading, but a wonderful way to live vicariously through the written page. Emma (the character, not the novel itself) is wonderfully developed to the point where it becomes easy for readers to crawl inside her head and understand her thought processes. The comic tone of the novel is also one of its most charming features. Of course, when Emma marries.well, we'll leave the ending to the author. Trust us, dear bidders, this is one not to be missed. All shipping charges paid on this lot and this lot only. A picture of the author and a copy of the book can be seen below.
Current Price: 5 pounds
The Italian

The author, though a woman, was offered 800 pounds to write this novel by a London publisher, and this work is not her first. Previous successes include The Mysteries of Udolpho, considered a seminal work in what the sellers understand to be a new genre of writing called "Gothic." Consequently, the reader can be assured that the content will not only be professionally written, but amusing to the mind and entertaining in the most extreme. The way in which Ms. Radcliffe manages to play with this so-called "Gothic" genre of writing has piqued the interest of some of the most learned citizens in the British Empire. Five pounds seems a small price to pay for such a pleasing diversion, especially one that can be enjoyed over and over by appreciating its varying levels of complexity. Some have been struck by the way landscapes factor into the way the author chose to write this work of fiction, while others have marveled at it for different reasons all together. Second and third readings of the text are bound to give the high bidder of this auction pleasures not encountered the first time around. The novel is one full of mystery from the outset; the opening scene sets the stage by introducing a veiled woman to readers, a veiled woman that will be pursued throughout the text by Vivaldi, one of Radcliffe's main characters in this masterful piece of fiction. Mystery, a central theme in the book, is one that makes The Italian such a visceral experience for any reader. Books of this quality are only now becoming popular and readily available to the general public. Be the first person in your neighborhood to read The Italian and proudly state that "you read it way back when," before the rest of the herd was literate and knew who Radcilffe was. The binding is pretty and suitable for display, of course, but the contents of this volume are what you're after, so bid now.
Current Price: 5 pounds
Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe is one of the world's most popular adventure novels. Daniel Defoe based his classic tale of survival on an uninhabited island on a true story. The real Robinson Crusoe was a Scotsman named Alexander Selkirk. Born in 1676, when Selkirk was 19 years old he was cited for indecent conduct in church, but before he could be reprimanded, he ran off to sea. That was in 1695. By 1703 he was the sailing master of a galley. The following year he joined a pirate expedition to the Pacific Ocean that was led by Capt. William Dampier. Selkirk's ship had Thomas Stradling as it's captain. Robinson Crusoe has been published in hundreds of editions and scores of languages, a testament to its popularity. Even today, years after its initial publication, the book clips along at a lively pace, with Crusoe's adventures breezing by the average reader. Daniel Defoe's most famous novel was published in 1719 with the full title, The Life and strange and surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. Today, it is commonly known as Robinson Crusoe, and is one of the best known novels (and one of the first novels) in the English language. Defoe, at one time a journalist, describes his subject and his surroundings in minute detail and at the same time, allows readers inside the head of the main character, giving a view of just how horrible and exciting life on that island must have been. Should you care to experience what Crusoe was going through first hand, be sure to browse the "other services" section of Ye Old eBay for an adventure unlike anything else you've ever experienced. Crusoe ends up on a desert island in the manner of Selkirk. With only a few supplies from the ship he builds a new life, not to mention a house and boat. The crew of a mutinying ship finally rescue our hero, but it is his adventure on the island that interests us. The novel is particularly notable for its detailed verisimilitude allowing us to believe in the situation - something assisted by the uncomplicated language used by the author. The book spawned two sequels, however, they are practically unknown. Buy and read the original and best. A sample of illustrations from this edition can be seen below.
Current Price: 5 pounds

Back to Ye Old eBay Index