A plain, blank stationer's notebook from the 1780s in the Bodleian Library contains some of the most famous juvenilia in all of English literature. Copied out in Jane Austen's youthful hand, Volume the First, which takes its name from the inscription on the cover, preserves the stories, playlets, verses, and moral fragments she wrote during her teenage years.
For the first time, the entire manuscript of Volume the First is available in a printed facsimile. In it, we see the young author's delight in language, in expressing ideas and sentiments sharply and economically. We also see Jane Austen learning the craft of genre by closely observing and parodying the popular stories of her day. Kathryn Sutherland's introduction places Jane's Austen's earliest works in context and explains how she mimicked even the style and manner in which these stories were presented and arranged on the page.
Clearly the work of a teenager, Volume the First reveals the development of the unmistakable voice and style that would mark out Jane Austen as one of the most popular authors of all time. None of her six famous novels survives in manuscript form. This is a unique opportunity to own a likeness of Jane Austen's hand in the form of a complete manuscript facsimile.