Thursday, December 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Jane!

Today is Jane Austen's Birthday! She's turning 235! In honor of the occasion I will share pictures of the lovely first edition of Sense and Sensibility which I've been privileged to work on over the last month here at Harvard.

Sense and Sensibility was published in 1811, and was her first published work! Pride and Prejudice came next in 1813. If you want to know more about Jane Austen's life, I highly suggest reading Becoming Jane Austen, which was a great biography that the movie was based on.

The copy I worked on is still in it's original covers, though the colors have faded. The labels used to be pink! It is quite rare to find copies in the original covers because they were usually a temporary binding, wealthier people who bought it would later have it rebound to match their library.

This copy is used by professors who bring their students to see rare, classic books at the library.

Showing part of the new box I made to house the three volumes.

The green of the covers was a very hard color to replicate! I spent about 6 hours just trying to get it right!

And a little about how and what I did to them...
I wish I had before pictures to show! I did a lot of these little fills!
In process photos:

To repair losses to the cover paper, I first traced the missing piece on thin plastic (mylar) laid over the book.

I then cut the shapes out of Japanese tissue that I toned to match the color of the original paper, on the light box (both in white, the first layer, and then the green top layer).

The piece cut out.

I then applied it to the book using wheat starch paste...

folding the edges under to cover the edges of the board too.

I later went back and further toned the paper to match with chalk pastels on the book, so the repairs disappeared even more!

This was such a fun project for me to work on. Really a dream come true, considering how big of an Austen fan I am!

Happy Birthday Jane! As I've been working on this book, I like to think of how you must have felt holding your first ever published novel! A treat for both me and you, I'm sure!


Whits said...

This is fabulous! How fun! I love that blue faded color.

Lisa in AK said...

Wow! You are very skilled, I am impressed. Do they belong to Harvard's special collections? You are a lucky little girl!

Celeste Pearson said...

That is so cool! I love old stuff and I think it's so fun what you do. Hope everything is going well with you!

Barbara said...

You are so cool! Can we be friends?

Ryan, Eileen, Ellie, and Adelyn Lamb said...

I just got chills! I can't believe you got to do that!
Seriously amazing.