The Jane Austen Annotated Editions

Cover: Northanger Abbey: An Annotated Edition, by Jane Austen, edited by Susan J. Wolfson, from Harvard University Press Cover: Sense and Sensibility: An Annotated Edition, by Jane Austen, edited by Patricia Meyer Spacks, from Harvard University Press Cover: Emma: An Annotated Edition, by Jane Austen, edited by Bharat Tandon, from Harvard University Press Cover: Persuasion: An Annotated Edition, by Jane Austen, edited by Robert Morrison, from Harvard University Press Cover: Pride and Prejudice: An Annotated Edition, by Jane Austen, edited by Patricia Meyer Spacks, from Harvard University Press

The Series

These richly illustrated and annotated oversize editions instruct readers in a larger appreciation of Austen’s novels and the world their author inhabited. The abundance of color illustrations allows readers to see the characters, locations, clothing, and carriages of the novels, as well as the larger historical events that shape their action. Marginal notes provide running commentary on the novels, explaining unfamiliar words, allusions, and contexts while bringing together critical observation and scholarship for the ultimate reading experience. These beautiful editions are designed to last for generations. Lovers of Austen’s novels and book collectors will want to own and treasure all of the volumes in Harvard University Press’s Annotated Austen series.

“If you haven’t yet seen the Harvard University Press’s annotated Jane Austen series, prepare yourself for a major treat.”—The Christian Science Monitor (10 Best Holiday Gift Book Ideas, 2013)

See What’s Inside…

Click the image below to view a sample interior spread from Pride and Prejudice. Use the pop-up arrow buttons, your mouse scroll wheel, or your left and right arrow keys to cycle through the images.

Sample interior spread from Pride and Prejudice

Critical Acclaim for Emma

“Its large size and heavy weight, complemented by thick, wood-textured endpapers, acid-free cream-vellum paper, generous margins and woven bindings suggest an object important in its own right, an object and a form that will not go quietly into the good night. Its rich illustrations range from frontispieces and portraits to caricatures and Regency fashion plates, including a fine one for the Beaver Hat. Tandon’s explanatory notes are similarly comprehensive and serve to link Austen not only to contemporaries such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Mary Wollstonecraft and Charles Lamb, but also to lexical and thematic lines that run backwards, from Samuel Richardson and Henry Fielding to Seneca, and forwards to James Joyce and the contemporary novelist Edward St Aubyn… Tandon’s notes often function as brief scholarly and historic articles in their own right, and the combined effect of these notes and illustrations is an edition of almost Talmudic ambition, but one that carries its erudition without sacrificing readability… Tandon’s notes are superb… One of the great merits of Tandon’s edition is that, without breaking the spell of Austen’s fiction, he presents her work as so very much of her time, whether that be in her conceptual relation to moralists such as Samuel Johnson, or in the social resonances of foodstuffs, clothing and card games.”
—Jonathan Sachs, The Times Literary Supplement
“The latest gorgeous entry in the Belknap Press’ growing library of annotated Jane Austen novels arrives, this time the mighty Emma under the exactingly careful guidance of Bharat Tandon of the University of East Anglia. Belknap has once again done its end of the job superbly: the book is a physical treat—luxuriantly over-sized, heavy with quality paper and solid binding, decked out in a beautiful cover and dozens of well-chosen illustrations throughout. This is one of the prettiest Jane Austen volumes available in bookstores…this season.”
—Steve Donoghue, Open Letters Monthly

…for Persuasion

“A fine example of the revitalized investment in beautiful books that keeps company with [the] latest phase of digital reproduction. Lavishly respectful of the best material values of the book (elegant cloth binding, gold-stamped spine, silky endpapers, thick and creamy paper, superb illustrations), it also celebrates Austen’s bookish credentials. Its size (25 × 24 cm) makes it monumental rather than portable: a book for exhibition and browsing rather than for continuous reading on the train or in bed. Page layout is double-columned, with the novel text occupying the inner column, and commentary, annotation and graphic illustration tucked around it, cosseting and adorning it, in a gesture akin to the medieval art of illumination. This does not represent the contest for the space of the page that we find in some dry scholarly editions of the twentieth century, where footnotes and layers of synoptic apparatus induce anxiety in the reader, but something closer to loving embellishment and homage… This volume’s purpose of pleasure is evident in the freewheeling style of Robert Morrison’s annotations.”
—Kathryn Sutherland, The Times Literary Supplement
“This gorgeous annotated edition of Persuasion, the second annotated Austen title Belknap Harvard has released, is a must for all Janeites. For those unfamiliar with Austen’s milieu, Morrison’s notes provide basic information, such as explanations of words or phrases and geographical information. However, Morrison goes beyond the basics in his notes, explaining the intricacies of the Navy and providing details about Austen’s allusions to figures such as Samuel Johnson. He also provides a fine scholarly analysis of the novel, including an extended discussion—in which he quotes the premier Austen scholars—of Captain Wentworth’s letter. And his preface firmly places the novel in the events of its setting, especially the Napoleonic Wars (which Austen never overtly refers to). The beauty of this book is the lovely pictures, such as fashion plates, naval scenes, sketches of Bath, and illustrations from various editions of the novel. This volume should please all readers, from those reading Persuasion for the first time to seasoned Austen scholars. The volume has been generating a lot of excitement in both scholarly and popular Austen circles, and rightly so!”
—L.J. Larson, Choice

…and for Pride and Prejudice:

“[A] beautiful new illustrated edition… The great benefit of Spacks’s notes, set out in columns beside the text, and sometimes occupying whole facing pages, is that they make you read more slowly. Instead of letting Austen’s delicious confection slip down like a syllabub, you have to think about each sentence, and that enriches and complicates everything… Pride and Prejudice is a rarity among great books in being both a trenchant moral tale and the wispiest wish fulfillment, as unreal as Cinderella.”
—John Carey, The Sunday Times
“Reading Pride and Prejudice with Spacks as a guide illuminates the richness of Austen’s historical context, as the annotations draw attention to important material that might initially be missed… This beautifully produced and informative guide to reading Austen’s brilliant and beloved novel in its historical context will be a welcome addition to the library of anyone who has read, or plans to read, Pride and Prejudice more than once… Both specialists and fans will find it a great pleasure to read, learn from, and argue with Spacks’s annotated edition of this classic novel.”
—Sarah Emsley, Open Letters Monthly

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