The Austen collection on the shelves is the 12 volume 1906 Chawton edition, an octavo, the boards are marble paper covered, with deckling outside edges, the top edges have gilt. The set is bound in leather with gilt lettering, which is unusual for Austen sets, which, historically, have tended to be cloth with paper spine labels.
The Parkwood 1906 Chawton Edition is number 337 of the 1250 published.
One of the popular features of the 1906 Chawton, besides being leather bound is the colour front piece in each volume created by brothers Charles Edmund Brock and Henry Matthew Brock.
Charles Edmund (C.E.) Brock was born on 5 February 1870 in London, before the family moved to Cambridge, where Henry Matthew (H.M.) was born on 11 July 1875. They were trained at the studio of Henry Wiles and their career began in the early 1890s under the helm of Macmillan.
As they “were attracted to the architecture, furniture, and costume of the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries” (Rogerson, Ian), they “set about gathering period artefacts for their studio”, which they shared also with their brother Richard. This is one of the keys to their success as illustrators, since, with the help of family and friends who posed as models attired in those garments and placed in such settings, the Brocks were able to recreate very realistic scenes from the books they would illustrate.