‘Take courage, Charlotte, take courage’. - Anne Brontë’s final words to her sister Charlotte were ‘Take courage, Charlotte, take courage’, and they have proved to be inspirational not only to her ...
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Jane Eyreby Charlotte Brontë
Editions des Saint Pères
Each book is hand numbered from 1 to 1,000
To be released on 2 December 2016
Paper: Fedrigoni Avorio Luxury Paper
Published for the first time
This 824 page manuscript of Charlotte Brontë’s elegant and nimble handwriting is one of the British Library’s most precious treasures. Because of the great technical challenge that the task of reproducing it presents, the manuscript has remained unpublished until today. Les Saints Pères has taken on the challenge.
An edition limited to 1,000 hand numbered copies
Set in Northern England, during the reign of George III. From the heroine’s turbulent childhood to her discovery of love and all its tragic implications, to the birth of her first son: Jane Eyre is one of the greatest bildungsromans of all time.
In August 1847, Charlotte Brontë received a letter from the publisher Smith and Elder, rejecting her first novel but adding, ‘that a work in three volumes would [be met] with careful attention’. She then sent them this unique manuscript—no earlier drafts are known to survive today. Published in October 1847, the novel was an immediate success.
The three volumes of this manuscript, reproduced using only the finest materials, are presented together in a deluxe slipcase. Included: etchings by Edmund Garrett from an 1897 edition of the novel.
Each volume is hand assembled, bound and sewn with end-band and bookmark. Each book is printed on luxury paper. The slipcase and book cover ornamentations are made using gilded iron. Our books are printed with vegetal ink, on environment friendly paper.
Claire Harman, author of Charlotte Brontë: A Life, welcomed the publication of a manuscript that she felt would appeal to the Brontë bibliophile.
“What we see is the end of a long process for Charlotte Brontë,” Harman said, “the last edits and adjustments to a story that had been with her for several years and that she wanted to present in an almost perfect condition to bowl over the publishers who had been intrigued but ultimately dissatisfied with The Professor. The manuscript shows justifiable pride in her work and control of it – and carefully hides the hard graft she had gone through to get there.” Éditions des Saints Pères co-founder Nicholas Tretiakow hailed the novel as “a compelling gem of English literature, a novel so many of us hold close to our hearts”.
“We wanted to rise to the challenge and offer this beautiful and rich manuscript to the public for the very first time,” he said.
Tretiakow’s co-founder Jessica Nelson said that the pair were inspired to set up the press after attending an exhibition of manuscripts and first drafts in Paris 10 years ago. “We were totally moved and astounded by what we saw. We already had a passion for literature but we were astonished,” she said. “Nicholas said that in 10 years’ time we would create our own publishing house and specialise in the production of manuscripts, and that’s what we’ve done.”
According to Nelson, print runs are limited to 1,000 or 2,000 copies per book, with reproductions aimed at bibliophiles, collectors and those passionate about a particular author. The Jane Eyre copies will be priced at more than £200, and Éditions des Saints Pères plans to follow the novel’s release with further titles in English next year. (Alison Flood)