Pride and Prejudice

By Jane Austen; Vivien Jones, Ed (Editor); Tony Tanner (Introduction by)
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780141439518, 480pp.)

Publication Date: December 2002

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Description
When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited; he is indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.



About the Author
One of England's most beloved authors, Jane Austen wrote such classic novels as Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, and Northanger Abbey. Published anonymously during her life, Austen's work was renowned for its realism, humour, and commentary on English social rites and society at the time. Austen's writing was supported by her family, particularly by her brother, Henry, and sister, Cassandra, who is believed to have destroyed, at Austen's request, her personal correspondence after Austen's death in 1817. Austen's authorship was revealed by her nephew in A Memoir of Jane Austen, published in 1869, and the literary value of her work has since been recognized by scholars around the world.

John Gay (b. Barnstaple, Devon, 1685) was an English poet and playwright. Hugely successful in his own time, he is now best remembered for "The Beggar's Opera" (1928), a ballad opera satirizing the then Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole. "The Beggar's Opera", and its sequel "Polly", earned Gay fame, infamy and a healthy fortune. After his death at the age of47, he was buried in Westminster Abbey.

Tony Tanner was Professor of English and American Literature at the University of Cambridge.


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CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. Charlotte Brontë did not appreciate Pride and Prejudice. She felt that Jane Austen didn't write about her characters' hearts. Do you think Brontë's criticism is accurate? Is Austen's treatment of her characters' feelings superficial? Do they feel and/or express deep emotion?

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