Pride and Prejudice
Publication Date: September 2004
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Of all Jane Austen's books, Pride and Prejudice has earned a special place in the hearts of the reading public as her best-loved and most intimately known novel. From its famous opening sentence the story of the Bennet family and of the novel's two protagonists, Elizabeth and Darcy, told with a wit that its author feared might prove 'rather too light and bright, and sparkling', delights its most familiar readers as thoroughly as it does those who encounter it for the first time. Jane Austen's artistry is apparent, too, in the delineation of the minor characters: the ill-matched Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, Charles Bingley and his sisters, and above all the fatuous Mr. Collins, whose proposal to Elizabeth Bennet is one of the finest comic passages in English literature. And while she entertains us, Jane Austen teaches us the wisdom of balance, the folly of 'pride' and 'prejudice'.