Jane Austen, Her Life and Letters

A Family Record


The Text of Jane Austen's Novels

In the course of frequent reprinting, various errors have crept into the text of the novels, which seem in danger of becoming perpetuated. We therefore make no apology for pointing these out and for giving our reasons why we prefer any particular reading.

In arriving at the correct text of Jane Austen, common sense will be our best guide. It is of no use to assume, as some editors have done, that the latest edition which appeared in the author's lifetime, and which might naturally have had the benefit of her corrections, is any more correct than the earliest. Jane Austen was no skilled proofreader, and it is a melancholy fact that the second edition of Mansfield Park, which she returned to Mr. Murray 'as ready for press' as she could make it, contains more misprints than any of the other novels, including one or two that do not appear in the first edition. But as the type was evidently re-set, this may have been as much the printer's fault as the author's. Again, though in one of her letters she points out a misprint in the first edition of Pride and Prejudice, the passage is not corrected in either the second or third edition, both of which subsequently appeared in her lifetime.

Before noticing the various discrepancies, it is necessary to say a few words about the chief editions of note. During the author's lifetime three editions appeared of Pride and Prejudice, two of Sense and Sensibility and of Mansfield Park, and one of Emma. Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were published soon after her death. No other edition of the novels seems to have been published until Bentley bought up the copyrights of all the novels in 1832, and included them in his 'Standard Novels' series.

In process of time, Bentley's edition adopted various emendations in the text. It held the field to all intents and purposes for sixty years (apart from cheap reprints in the 'Parlour Series,' 'Railway Library,' &c.), and its text has largely been followed in later editions, especially by Messrs. Macmillan in their 'Pocket Classics' series. Other recent editions, containing a more or less independent text--arrived at by following the earliest editions--are those edited for Messrs. Dent by Mr. Brimley Johnson, the earliest of which appeared in 1892, and the most recent of which has appeared in 'Everyman's Library'; the Hampshire Edition (published by Mr. Brimley Johnson, but differing considerably from the editions which he has edited); and the Winchester Edition, published by Mr. Grant Richards.

Finally, with regard to textual criticism, we have an article 'On the printing of Jane Austen's novels,' by the late Dr. Verrall, contributed to the Cambridge Observer, about 1892; and two others, also by Dr. Verrall, 'On some passages in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park,' in the Cambridge Review, for November 30 and December 7, 1893; and certain emendations pointed out in a review of a new edition of Pride and Prejudice in the Saturday Review of November 12, 1910.


In this novel scarcely anything calls for notice. The main divergencies seem to be that the editions are divided between reading 'such happiness' and 'such an happiness,' at the end of Chapter III; between 'by all who called themselves her friends' and 'by all who call themselves her friends,' in Chapter XXXII; and 'one of the happiest couples' or 'one of the happiest couple,' in Chapter L.

Johnson's 1892 edition has an unfortunate blunder at the beginning of Chapter XXXII: reading 'their effect on her was entirely such as the former had hoped to see,' instead of 'their effect on her was not entirely,' &c.


  1. The first passage that we consider to be frequently misprinted is in Chapter III, where Mrs. Bennet is giving her husband an account of the Meryton assembly, and of Mr. Bingley's partners. The first three editions, followed by Mr. Johnson, the Winchester and Hampshire Editions, print thus:--
    'Then the two third he danced with Miss King, and the two fourth with Maria Lucas, and the two fifth with Jane again, and the two sixth with Lizzie and the Boulanger.'

    'If he had had any compassion for me,' cried her husband impatiently, 'he would not have danced half so much! For God's sake, say no more of his partners. O that he had sprained his ankle in the first dance!'

    'Oh! my dear,' continued Mrs. Bennet, 'I am quite delighted with him. He is so excessively handsome! and his sisters are charming women. I never in my life saw anything more elegant than their dresses. I dare say the lace upon Mrs. Hurst's gown----'

    Here she was interrupted again. Mr. Bennet protested against any description of finery, &c.
    Now, here there can be little doubt that we should read, as in Bentley's edition,[372] 'and the two sixth with Lizzie, and the Boulanger----' (i.e. Bingley danced the Boulanger with another partner, whose name Mrs. Bennet would have given but for her husband interrupting her). In the first place, there is every reason to suppose that Mr. Bingley danced no more than 'the two sixth' (each dance seems to have been divided into two parts, but without any change of partners) with Lizzie, for Mrs. Bennet has already said that Jane 'was the only creature in the room that he asked a second time.' Secondly, the reading of the first edition destroys the point of 'Here she was interrupted again.'
  2. The next passage which is frequently misprinted is in Chapter XIX, where Mr. Collins in the course of his proposal to Elizabeth quotes the advice of his very noble patroness. Bentley's edition here reads:--
    'Mr. Collins, you must marry. A clergyman like you must marry---- Choose properly, choose a gentlewoman for my sake, and for your own; let her be an active, useful sort of person not brought up high, but able to make a small income go a good way.'
    By transposing a comma and a semicolon, the printer has here succeeded in perverting a most characteristic bit of advice of Lady Catherine's. The first three editions, followed by Mr. Johnson; all read 'Choose properly, choose a gentlewoman for my sake; and for your own, let her be an active, useful sort of person,' &c., and there can hardly be two opinions as to which reading is the right one.
  3. In Chapter XXXVI, where Elizabeth is reviewing her conduct towards Darcy, Bentley's edition, following the first and second editions, makes her exclaim:--
    'How despicably have I acted,' she cried; 'I, who have prided myself on my discernment! I, who have valued myself on my abilities! who have often disdained the generous candour of my sister, and gratified my vanity in useless or blameless distrust.'
    'Blameless' makes little or no sense, and we should surely follow the third edition, which gives 'blameable.'
  4. Chapter XXXVIII, when Elizabeth Bennet and Maria Lucas are leaving Hunsford Parsonage, Mr. Brimley Johnson in his edition of 1892, following the first and second editions, arranges the sentences as follows:--
    'Good gracious!' cried Maria, after a few minutes' silence, 'it seems but a day or two since we first came!--and yet how many things have happened!'

    'A great many indeed,' said her companion with a sigh. 'We have dined nine times at Rosings, besides drinking tea there twice! How much I shall have to tell!'

    Elizabeth privately added, 'And how much I shall have to conceal!'
    The effect of this is to give the extremely banal remark about dining and drinking tea at Rosings to Elizabeth instead of to Maria. The third edition, followed by all the others, gives the correct arrangement:--
    'A great many indeed,' said her companion with a sigh.

    'We have dined nine times at Rosings, besides drinking tea there twice! How much I shall have to tell!'
  5. In Chapter L, where Mrs. Bennet is discussing the various houses in the neighbourhood which might suit Wickham and Lydia, Mr. Bennet is made in Bentley's and all subsequent editions to remark:--
    'Mrs. Bennet, before you take any or all of these houses for your son and daughter, let us come to a right understanding. Into one house in this neighbourhood they shall never have admittance. I will not encourage the imprudence of either, by receiving them at Longbourn.'
    Now 'imprudence' seems distinctly below Mr. Bennet's usual form, and we should obviously follow the first and second editions and read 'impudence.' Compare the sentence in Chapter LVII, where Mr. Bennet, talking of Mr. Collins's correspondence, says:--
    'When I read a letter of his, I cannot help giving him the preference even over Wickham, much as I value the impudence and hypocrisy of my son-in-law.'
    It is the third edition that has here gone astray and misled all the others.
  6. Chapter LIV, when Bingley and Darcy have been dining at Longbourn, we read in Mr. Johnson's edition, as well as in the Hampshire and Winchester Editions:--
    The gentlemen came; and she thought he looked as if he would have answered her hopes; but alas! the ladies had crowded round the table, where Miss Bennet was taking tea, and Elizabeth pouring out the coffee.
    This is an ingenious little misprint; for what Miss Bennet, who was one of the hostesses, was doing was not taking tea, of course, but making tea. The early editions and Bentley all read 'making.'
  7. Chapter LIV, where Jane is trying to persuade Elizabeth that she is in no danger of falling in love with Bingley again, Bentley's edition reads:--
    'You are very cruel,' said her sister [i.e. Elizabeth], 'you will not let me smile, and are provoking me to it every moment.'

    'How hard it is in some cases to be believed! And how impossible in others! But why should you wish to persuade me that I feel more than I acknowledge?'

    'That is a question which I hardly know how to answer.'
    Now, if we turn to the first three editions, we find the passage broken up as follows:--
    'You are very cruel,' said her sister, 'you will not let me smile, and are provoking me to it every moment.'

    'How hard it is in some cases to be believed! And how impossible in others!'

    'But why should you wish to persuade me that I feel more than I acknowledge?'

    'That is a question which I hardly know how to answer.'
    This is the only passage which we can correct on the authority of the author herself. In a letter dated February 4, 1813, she says, referring to the first edition of Pride and Prejudice: 'The greatest blunder in printing is in p. 220, l. 3, where two sentences are made into one.' Unfortunately, in trying to correct the mistake, Bentley's edition fell into another, and Mr. Johnson was the first to break up the sentences correctly. The passage should of course run:--
    'You are very cruel,' said her sister, 'you will not let me smile, and are provoking me to it every moment.'

    'How hard it is in some cases to be believed!'

    'And how impossible in others!'

    'But why should you wish to persuade me that I feel more than I acknowledge?'

    'That is a question which I hardly know how to answer.'
  8. Chapter LV, when Jane's engagement to Bingley had been arranged, Bentley's edition, following the third edition, reads:--
    Elizabeth, who was left by herself, now smiled at the rapidity and ease with which an affair was finally settled, that had given them so many previous months of surprise and vexation.
    'Surprise' does not seem nearly so suitable a word as 'suspense,' which is found in the first and second editions.
  9. Chapter LV, where Jane is talking to Elizabeth about Bingley. Mr. Johnson's editions, following the first three editions, read:--
    'Would you believe it, Lizzie, that when he went to town last November, he really loved me, and nothing but a persuasion of my being indifferent would have prevented his coming down again!'

    'He made a little mistake, to be sure; but it is to the credit of his modesty.'

    This naturally introduced a panegyric from Jane on his diffidence, and the little value he put on his own good qualities.

    Elizabeth was pleased to find that he had not betrayed the interference of his friends; for, though Jane had the most generous and forgiving heart in the world, she knew it was a circumstance which must prejudice her against him.
    As this last paragraph stands, 'him' can hardly refer to anyone else but Bingley, which makes nonsense. Nothing was likely to prejudice Jane against him; besides, it was not his 'friends' who had interfered, but his 'friend' Darcy. There can be no doubt, therefore, that we ought to read, with Bentley's edition, 'friend,' and then 'him' will refer to Darcy, against whom Lizzie was very anxious on her own account that Jane should not be prejudiced.
  10. Chapter LVI, when Lady Catherine is trying to browbeat Elizabeth, Mr. Johnson reads, in his edition of 1892, following the first two editions (which, however, have a comma after 'accomplished'):--
    'While in their cradles, we planned the union: and now, at the moment when the wishes of both sisters would be accomplished in their marriage, to be prevented by a young woman of inferior birth, of no importance in the world, and wholly unallied to the family?'
    Most editions, however, following the third, merely alter the interrogation to an exclamation mark; but it is by no means certain that we ought not to read 'is their marriage' instead of 'in their marriage,' placing the comma three words earlier: then we can keep the interrogation. So the edition published by George Allen in 1894.


  1. Chapter VIII: Bentley's edition, following the first and second editions, reads:--
    Mrs. Rushworth proceeded next, under the conviction that everybody must be wanting to see Sotherton, to include Miss Crawford in the invitation; and though Miss Grant, who had not been at the trouble of visiting Mrs. Rushworth, on her coming into the neighbourhood, civilly declined it on her own account, she was glad to secure any pleasure for her sister; and Mary, properly pressed and persuaded, was not long in accepting her share of the civility.
    Inasmuch as there is no such character as 'Miss Grant' in the book, all other editions read 'Mrs. Grant.' Dr. Verrall, in the pages of the Cambridge Review, defended 'Miss Grant,' provided that 'Miss' were placed between inverted commas, as well as the previous 'Miss Crawford'; he believed Mrs. Rushworth to have been a blundering kind of person, who desired to invite Miss Crawford, but while naming 'Miss Crawford' addressed herself to Mrs. Grant. Otherwise (if we read 'Mrs. Grant'), Dr. Verrall argued, there was not the slightest occasion for Mrs. Grant to decline the invitation on her own account, for she had not been in any way invited; nor would there have been any need for Mary to be 'properly pressed and persuaded,' and then to accept 'her share' of the civility. Dr. Verrall's suggestion is ingenious, but not quite convincing.
  2. Chapter VIII: Bentley's edition, following the first and second editions, reads:--
    When Edmund, therefore, told her in reply, as he did when she would give him the hearing, that she need not distress herself on Mrs. Rushworth's account, because he had taken the opportunity, as he walked with her through the hall, of mentioning Miss Price as one who would probably be of the party, and had directly received a very sufficient invitation for her cousin, &c.
    'Her cousin' would certainly seem to be a mistake; and all other editions accordingly alter 'her' to 'his.' Dr. Verrall, however, defends 'her'; and would read 'and had directly received a very sufficient invitation for her cousin,' on the ground that Mrs. Rushworth, not quite understanding who was meant by Miss Price, thought she was cousin to the Miss Price who she had previously heard would remain at home with Lady Bertram. Some such explanation, Dr. Verrall thought, would alone account for the 'very sufficient' invitation.
  3. Chapter X, p. 106, where Fanny Price says to Mr. Rushworth, who on returning with the key finds Miss Bertram and Mr. Crawford have gone into the park without waiting for him:--
    'They desired me to stay--my cousin Maria charged me to say that you would find them at that knoll, or thereabouts.'
    So all the editions read; but Dr. Verrall would emend to 'They desired me to say--my cousin,' &c., on the ground that Fanny, who was the soul of truth, had not been desired to stay. But, for the matter of that, neither had her cousin Maria charged her to say anything, for it was Crawford who had suggested that 'Miss Price will be so good as to tell him, that he will find us near that knoll.' However, the emendation is attractive, as it shows Fanny trying to make the best case she can for Maria by eliminating Crawford's share in the transaction.
  4. Chapter XXIV: All editions read:--
    This dear William would soon be amongst them. There could be no doubt of his obtaining leave of absence immediately, for he was still only a midshipman; and as his parents, from living on the spot, must already have seen him and be seeing him perhaps daily, his direct holidays might with justice be instantly given to his sister.
    The expression 'his direct holidays,' meaning 'his actual holidays,' is intelligible enough, but did not satisfy Dr. Verrall, who suggested 'derelict' as a naval expression to imply holidays on which no one had a claim, and which might therefore be given to Mansfield Park. Like many of Dr. Verrall's emendations, its ingenuity is greater than its probability.
  5. Chapter XXXIII, p. 340:--
    Here again was a something of the same Mr. Crawford whom she had so reprobated before. How evidently was there a gross want of feeling and humanity where his own pleasure was concerned; and alas! how always known no principle to supply as a duty what the heart was deficient in.
    It is difficult to believe that Jane Austen can have written anything so clumsy as 'how always known no principle.' Such, however, is the reading of all the editions, except the Hampshire Edition, which, without giving any note, violently emends to 'how lacking the principle.'
  6. Chapter XXXIX: Bentley, following the second edition, reads:--
    Her days were spent in a kind of slow bustle; all was busy without getting on, always behind hand and lamenting it, without altering her ways; wishing to be an economist, without contrivance or regularity; dissatisfied with her servants, without skill to make them better, and whether helping or reprimanding, or indulging them, without any power of engaging their respect.
    Here the printer has been most ingenious. The text should, of course, be 'always busy,' as it is in the first edition and the Hampshire Edition.
  7. Chapter XL: Bentley's edition, following the early editions, reads:--
    ' . . . for Henry is in Norfolk; business called him to Everingham ten days ago, or perhaps he only pretended the call, for the sake of being travelling at the same time that you were.'
    Mr. Johnson and the Winchester Edition read 'to call.' There seems little doubt that 'the call' is the right reading.
  8. Chapter XLVII: Bentley and nearly all editions read:--
    Time would undoubtedly abate somewhat of his sufferings, but still it was a sort of thing which he never could get entirely the better of; and as to his ever meeting with any other woman who could--it was too impossible to be named but with indignation.
    The broken sentence means 'a woman who could console him for the loss of Mary.'

    Mr. Johnson's editions make nonsense of the passage by substituting a comma for the dash after 'could.'
  9. Chapter XLVIII: Bentley, following the early editions, reads:--
    Maria had destroyed her own character, and he would not, by a vain attempt to restore what never would be restored, be affording his sanction to vice, or in seeking to lessen its disgrace, be anywise accessory to introducing such misery in another man's family, as he had known himself.
    Mr. Johnson and the Winchester Edition read 'by affording his sanction to vice,' which is an unnecessary alteration.


  1. Chapter XVIII:--
    'No, Emma; your amiable young man can be amiable only in French, not in English. He may be very "aimable," have very good manners, and be very agreeable; but he can have no English delicacy towards the feelings of other people--nothing really amiable about him.'
    This reading, found in the first edition and the Winchester Edition, is without doubt correct; but Bentley, Johnson, and the Hampshire Edition read 'He may be very "amiable."'
  2. Chapter XXIII:--
    But when satisfied on all these points, and their acquaintance proportionably advanced, . . .
    Mr. Johnson, in his 1892 edition, did not approve of the word 'proportionably,' and read '[proportionately]'; but he has since altered his mind. The first edition and all others read 'proportionably,' and there appears to be authority for such a word.
  3. Chapter XXV:--
    Vanity, extravagance, love of change, restlessness of temper, which must be doing something, good or bad; heedlessness as to the pleasure of his father and Mrs. Weston, indifferent as to how his conduct might appear in general; he became liable to all these [changes].
    There are two words in the sentence, which differ in the various editions. The first edition reads 'indifferent' . . . 'changes.' Bentley reads 'indifference' . . . 'changes.' Mr. Johnson and the Winchester Edition read 'indifferent' and 'charges'; the Hampshire Edition 'indifference' and 'charges.' 'Indifference' would seem to be probably right; 'charges,' certainly right.
  4. Chapter XXIX:--
    'Emma,' said she, 'this paper is worse than I expected. Look! in places you see it is dreadfully dirty: and the wainscot is more yellow and forlorn than anything could have imagined.'
    So the first edition; Bentley, and the Hampshire Edition, insert 'one'; Mr. Johnson and the Winchester Edition 'I' after 'anything.'
  5. Chapter XXXII, where Mrs. Elton says to Emma:--
    'I assure you, Miss Woodhouse, it is very delightful to me to be reminded of a place I am so extremely partial to as Maple Grove. I have spent so many happy minutes there!' (with a little sign of sentiment).
    So Mr. Johnson's editions read, following the first edition. But Bentley's, as well as the Hampshire and Winchester Editions, read 'sigh,' which seems to be certainly right.
  6. Chapter XLIV:--
    Jane took Mrs. Elton aside, and told her at once, that upon thinking over the advantages of Mrs. Suckling's situation, she had come to the resolution of accepting it.
    So the first edition, followed by Bentley; but this is plainly a mistake for Mrs. Smallridge's, and is corrected by Mr. Johnson, the Winchester and Hampshire Editions.
  7. Chapter XLVI, where Mr. Weston tells Emma that his wife has something to break to her, and Emma at once fears for her relations in Brunswick Square:--
    'Mrs. Weston, do not trifle with me. Consider how many of my dearest friends are now in Brunswick Square. Which of them is it? I charge you by all that is sacred not to attempt concealment.'

    'Upon my word, Emma----'

    'Your word! Why not your honour! Why not say upon your honour, that it has nothing to do with any of them? Good heavens! What can be to be broke to me that does relate to one of that family?'
    So the first edition, followed by Bentley. But Mr. Johnson, the Hampshire and Winchester Editions insert 'not' before 'relate'; and the negative seems needed.
  8. Chapter XLVII:--
    This was the conclusion of the first series of reflection.
    So the first edition, followed by Bentley; Mr. Johnson, the Hampshire and Winchester Editions give 'reflections.' But in Jane Austen's novels the expression 'a series of' is continually followed by a noun in the singular, when nowadays we should probably use the plural--e.g. Emma, chapter xxxvi, 'a series of dissipation'; Sense and Sensibility, chapter xxvii, 'a series of rain'; chapter xlvi, 'a series of imprudence.'

    Cf. Emma, chapter xxii, 'after a series of what appeared to him strong encouragement'; though the Hampshire Edition has altered this to 'encouragements.'


  1. Chapter VI: 'I am sure it is Laurentina's skeleton.' A reference to Mrs. Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho will show that 'Laurentina' should be 'Laurentini.' All editions, however, read 'Laurentina.'
  2. Chapter VIII:--
    'Let us walk about and quiz people. Come along with me, and I will show you the four greatest quizzers in the room; my two younger sisters and their partners. I have been laughing at them this half-hour.'
    So the first edition, the Hampshire and Winchester Editions. Bentley, however, reads 'quizzes,' which seems correct, as the word 'quizzer' usually bore an active sense, and 'quiz' a passive.
  3. Chapter XI:--
    They all spent the evening together at Thorpe's. It seems improbable that Jane Austen can have written anything other than 'at the Thorpes''; but no edition has had the courage to make the change.
  4. Chapter XIII:--
    And with these words she broke away and hurried off. Thorpe would have darted after her, but Morland withheld him. 'Let her go, let her go, if she will go. She is as obstinate as----'

    Thorpe never finished the simile, for it could hardly have been a proper one.
    So the first edition reads, followed by Bentley and the Winchester Edition. The Hampshire Edition boldly gives 'Morland,' and this seems the natural solution. The only alternative is to break up the sentence thus:--
    . . . but Morland withheld him. 'Let her go, let her go, if she will.' 'She is as obstinate as----' Thorpe never finished the simile, &c.
    But this does not seem so natural; nor do we imagine that the impropriety of the simile would necessarily have debarred Thorpe from completing it.
  5. Chapter XXII:--
    And for his part, to his uncritical palate, the tea was as well flavoured from the clay of Staffordshire as from that of Dresden or Sêve. But this was quite an old set, purchased two years ago.
    So the first edition, and the Hampshire and Winchester Editions; but Bentley emends to 'Sévres,' which must surely be correct.
  6. Chapter XXVI:--
    By ten o'clock the chaise-and-four conveyed the two from the abbey, and, after an agreeable drive of almost twenty miles, they entered Woodston, &c.
    So all the editions; but is not 'two' a misprint for 'trio'--i.e. General Tilney, Eleanor, and Catherine? It is certain that Eleanor was of the party, for we read a little later: 'His son and daughter's observations were of a different kind. They had seldom seen him eat so heartily at any table but his own'; nor is there anything to show that General Tilney rode on horseback. For an example of the use of the word 'trio' by Jane Austen, see Mansfield Park, chapter xxix: 'They were now a miserable trio.'


  1. Chapter I: The Hampshire and Winchester Editions, following the first edition, print the opening passage as follows:--
    Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch Hall, in Somersetshire, was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage; where he found occupation for an idle hour and consolation in a distressed one; there his faculties were roused into admiration and respect, by contemplating the limited remnant of the earliest patents; there any unwelcome sensations, arising from domestic affairs, changed naturally into pity and contempt. As he turned over the almost endless creations of the last century, and there, if every other leaf were powerless, he could read his own history with an interest which never failed: this was the page at which his favourite volume always opened.
    This obviously makes no sense as it stands; and to no less a light than Macaulay belongs the credit of putting it right.
    Some of his old friends (says Sir G. O. Trevelyan in his Life of Macaulay[373]) may remember how he prided himself on a correction of his own in the first page of Persuasion which he maintained to be worthy of Bentley, and which undoubtedly fulfils all the conditions required to establish the credit of an emendation; for, without the alteration of a word, or even of a letter, it turns into perfectly intelligible common-sense a passage which has puzzled, or which ought to have puzzled, two generations of Miss Austen's readers.
    And in a footnote, Sir George says:--
    A slight change in the punctuation effects all that is required. According to Macaulay the sentence was intended by its author to run thus: 'There any unwelcome sensations, arising from domestic affairs, changed naturally into pity and contempt as he turned over the almost endless creations of the last century; and there, if every other leaf were powerless, he could read his own history with an interest which never failed. This was the page at which his favourite volume opened.'
    Whether or not the emendation would have satisfied Bentley the critic, it eventually satisfied Bentley the publisher, who adopted it in his later editions.
  2. Chapter I, a page or two further on, all editions read:--
    Be it known, then, that Sir Walter, like a good father (having met with one or two private disappointments in very unreasonable applications), prided himself on remaining single for his dear daughter's sake. For one daughter, his eldest, he would really have given up anything, which he had not been very much tempted to do. . . . His two other children were of very inferior value.
    This is one more instance of a misplaced apostrophe, for, as Dr. Verrall pointed out in the Cambridge Observer, what Jane Austen must have written is 'for his dear daughters' sake.' Even if the antithesis implied in the next sentence did not demand this, it is obvious that the correct Sir Walter would never have allowed himself to state that he remained single for the sake of one daughter only. Indeed, we have a proof of this in Chapter V, when Elizabeth says: 'And as to my father, I really should not have thought that he who has kept himself single so long for our sakes need be suspected now.'
  3. Chapter XXII: Bentley, following the first edition, reads:--
    She was earnestly begged to return and dine, and give them all the rest of the day, but her spirits had been so long exerted that at present she felt unequal to move and fit only for home, where she might be sure of being as silent as she chose.

    Promising to be with them the whole of the following morning, therefore, she closed the fatigues of the present by a toilsome walk to Camden Place, &c.
    The Hampshire and Winchester Editions read 'more,' and this seems likely to be correct; for those acquainted with the road to Camden Place will know how inadvisable it would be for anyone 'unequal to move' to attempt it.
  4. Chapter XXIII: Nearly all editions read: 'The weather was unfavourable, and she had grieved over the rain on her friend's account.'

    There was no particular 'friend' in the case, as Anne had promised to spend her morning with the Musgroves, and it seems certain we should read 'on her friends' account.'


[372] [372] Our references throughout are to Bentley's edition of 1885-6.

[373] Vol. ii. pp. 470-1, second edition.