The above is a photograph of the primary copies of Persuasion I own. I don’t tend to grab every copy I see, I am selective. And cheap. The most expensive copy I have is the “Sentimental Favorite” on the right, The Everyman’s Library edition. The first editions of Everyman were published in 1906 with Northanger Abby and Persuasion being the last of the series at #25. I bought an older copy at Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon, in approximately 2000. Pamela Aidan came out to western Oregon to shlepp around with me and Laura Hile. I was stupid and gave it away in a group marketing campaign. I regretted it the minute I put it in the mail. So, I decided that this edition would be my gift to myself for completing a novella in five months. (You can buy Wentworth’s Christmas Wish on Amazon HERE. It is also available on Kindle Unlimited.)
The book to the left is a cheap book club edition published in a set in 1998. It is truly the workhorse. I had broken apart a cheap Barnes and Noble edition I go in ’97 when I started writing. The set was cheap and I’ve been using this Penguin edition for most of my writing “career.” You can’t see them clearly but it is full of Post-its and book marks for various passages. It’s torn here and there and the plastic coating is starting to come up but she will do for a while longer.
I also use a digital version from the Gutenberg Project. As I write on a laptop, it’s simpler when I need the word search function. Which is more and more often. (The ageing brain is not a pretty sight, y’all.)
Last, is my favorite copy. My son’s partner went to London for her job earlier this year, (2022) and she brought me this edition. It is a Vintage Classic and I love the faux muslin print on the cover. I also love that it is not a standard paperback size. Odd-sized books on my shelves make me happy. I only have one Post-it, marking The Letter, destroying the classy look of it.
All my copies of Austen are important to me. But so are my copies of Patrick O’Brien’s Jack Aubrey series. I don’t have a lot of books. This worked out well for us when we moved across the country this summer. There was stress enough without having to decide who would make the trip and who would be left behind.
It is back to work. Have a pleasant Friday.
Oh, and buy my book:
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