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|Subscribing to a Camilla...
Written by DeeMac
(4/6/2003 4:02 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Camilla and other novels, penned by Kresel
] If I understand correctly, the way these novels were passed around was by some sort of mail-order rental system. According to Elizabeth Jenkins' bio of JA, one of the names on the subscibers' (borrowers) list of one of the first prints of Camilla was "Miss J. Austen, Steventon."
Subscribing to a novel was not the same as renting it from a circulating library, which is what I think you're describing above.
When you subscribed to a novel, you agreed to purchase it in advance of publication, and as a reward, you were sent a pre-publication copy, which had a list of the subscribers printed in the front pages. I've got a facsimile edition of Camilla, and you can see Jane Austen's name in the list of subscribers - although it was her father who actually subscribed for the book, in her name.
Below is a scan of the relevant page from the subscribers list, which is headed as follows: Her Royal Highnefs the Duchefs of YORK 2 fets, and His Royal Highnefs the Duke of GLOUCESTER.
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