The Works of Jane Austen. Being: Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, and Mansfield Park - Jane Austen, Charles Brock and Hugh Thomson (illustrators) 1895 to 1897 - Macmillan and Co., London - First Thomson or Brock Illustrated Editions ‘I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.'

An elegantly bound five volume set of Austen's novels, each being the first edition to be illustrated by Hugh Thomson with the exception of ‘
Pride and Prejudice’ which is the first edition to be fully illustrated by Charles Brock. Profusely illustrated throughout, and with an introduction by Austin Dobson in each volume.

Affectation of candour is common enough—one meets with it everywhere. But to be candid without ostentation or design—to take the good of everybody's character and make it still better, and say nothing of the bad—belongs to you alone.’
  Jane Austen [1775-1817] is fondly known for her novels Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Persuasion, as well as her humour, depiction of contemporary English country life and the morals of the second half of the 18th century. Publishing anonymously, Austen was only identified for the first time in one of her novels, five months after her death in 1817, by her brother Henry on the first publication of Persuasion and Northanger Abbey.

Charles Edmund Brock (1870-1938) - Book illustrator and portrait painter. Born in Cambridge and spent the whole of his working life there. Educated at the Cambridge school and workshop of Henry Wiles, sculptor. Like his younger brother H.M. Brock, his métier was in the illustration of period books, the worlds of Jane Austen, Charles Lamb, Oliver Goldsmith and Daniel Defoe, but also of Scott’s classics and the stories of Whyte-Melville. His career began in earnest in the middle 1890’s and he continued to produce a regular output until his death in 1938. The Brocks worked closely together, together in the same studio and gained stimulation from each other. They are well known for their accuracy in period settings, collecting Georgian furniture and clothing to study from. He was elected RI in 1908.

Hugh Thomson (1860-1920) - Water colour artist and illustrator. Born in Londonderry, Thomson first came to prominence with his series of drawings of 18th century ballads and stories in The English Illustrated Magazine,1883. Thomson was an instinctive artist with little formal training, apart from a few classes at the Belfast School of Art, most of his instruction was from artist and designer John Vinycomb. His name was made with Coaching Days and Coaching Ways in partnership with Outram Tristram. Thomson created an idyllic world of stage coaches, sedan chairs, port and wine. From the late 1880s he was continuously in demand for the novels of Jane Austin, Mrs Gaskell, Charles Raed and others as well as for contemporaries such as J. M. Barrie and Austin Dobson. His studies of London life and cockney poor are notable achievements and show the diversity of this talented artist. He was elected RI in 1897, and his work was influential on the following generation.

Reference: Simon Houfe,
British Illustrators and Caricaturists, 244, 479.

Five octavo volumes (binding size 19.8x13.3cm, combined width of set 19cm), pp. [2] xxx 352, 4 (publisher’s catalogue 50.11.94) [2]; [2] xvi 342, [6 (publisher’s catalogue 50.12.95)] [2]; [2] xviii 437 [1] [6 (publisher’s ads)] 56 (publishers catalogue 20/5/7/96 dated July, 1896) [2]; [2] xvi 444 [4 (publisher’s ads)] [2]; [2] xviii 429 [1] [2 (publisher’s ads)] [2].
  Bound in recent burgundy three-quarter morocco over matching cloth, spines with raised bands, gilt decorations and contrasting twin blue morocco labels lettered in gilt, top edges gilt.   Condition: A fine set in fine bindings   Ref: 110274   Price: HK$ 24,000