Pride and Prejudice has delighted generations of readers with its unforgettable cast of characters, carefully choreographed plot, and a hugely entertaining view of the world and its absurdities. With the arrival of eligible young men in their neighborhood, the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet and their five daughters are turned inside out and upside down. Pride encounters prejudice, upward-mobility confronts social disdain, and quick-wittedness challenges sagacity, as misconceptions and hasty judgements lead to heartache and scandal, but eventually to true understanding, self-knowledge, and love. In this supremely satisfying story, Jane Austen balances comedy with seriousness, and witty observation with profound insight. This new edition includes a new introduction, updated notes, and new appendices onsocial rank and dancing in 19th-century England.
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It's hard to believe that Jane Austen wrote the sophisticated and acerbic PRIDE AND PREJUDICE when she was only 21 years old, in 1797. Originally entitled FIRST IMPRESSIONS, the novel was rejected, revised, retitled, and finally published--anonymously--in 1813, only four years before Austen's untimely death. In PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, Austen calls on her sharp observations of vanity, venality, pomposity, and downright nuttiness in a story about a respectable but far from wealthy family full of daughters--girls who desperately need to find husbands if they are to have any kind of economic security. The eldest of the Bennett family, Elizabeth, is a bright, opinionated, and complacent young woman whose reaction to an offer of marriage from her wealthy but impossibly arrogant suitor, Fitzwilliam Darcy, is revulsion. But in the course of the story both Elizabeth and Darcy learn important lessons about their own folly and blindness, and about the dangers of superficial judgements. As the two perform their elaborate courtship dance, Austen surrounds them with some of her most uproariously clueless characters--from the wacky Mrs. Bennett to the wonderfully unctuous Mr. Collins, another of Elizabeth's admirers. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE is, of course, a highly satisfying and offbeat love story, but it is also an unparalleled examination of human nature at both its best and its hilarious worst.
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- May 15, 2008
- May 15, 2008
- Jane Austen