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Pride and Prejudice
Cover of Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice
Borrow Borrow
Introduction by Anna Quindlen
Commentary by Margaret Oliphant, George Saintsbury, Mark Twain, A. C. Bradley, Walter A. Raleigh, and Virginia Woolf

Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen's witty comedy of manners—one of the most popular novels of all time—that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues. Renowned literary critic and historian George Saintsbury in 1894 declared it the "most perfect, the most characteristic, the most eminently quintessential of its author's works," and Eudora Welty in the twentieth century described it as "irresistible and as nearly flawless as any fiction could be."

Includes a Modern Library Reading Group Guide
Introduction by Anna Quindlen
Commentary by Margaret Oliphant, George Saintsbury, Mark Twain, A. C. Bradley, Walter A. Raleigh, and Virginia Woolf

Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen's witty comedy of manners—one of the most popular novels of all time—that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues. Renowned literary critic and historian George Saintsbury in 1894 declared it the "most perfect, the most characteristic, the most eminently quintessential of its author's works," and Eudora Welty in the twentieth century described it as "irresistible and as nearly flawless as any fiction could be."

Includes a Modern Library Reading Group Guide
Available formats-
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  • Available:
    2
  • Library copies:
    2
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:
    9 - 12

Recommended for you

Excerpts-
  • From the cover CHAPTER 1

    IT IS A TRUTH universally acknowledged that a single man in
    possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

    However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on
    his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in
    the minds of the surrounding families that he is considered as the
    rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.

    "My dear Mr. Bennet," said his lady to him one day, "have you heard
    that Netherfield Park is let at last?"

    Mr. Bennet replied that he had not.

    "But it is," returned she; "for Mrs. Long has just been here, and she
    told me all about it."

    Mr. Bennet made no answer.

    "Do not you want to know who has taken it?" cried his wife impatiently.

    "You want to tell me, and I have no objection to hearing it."

    This was invitation enough.

    "Why, my dear, you must know, Mrs. Long says that Netherfield is
    taken by a young man of large fortune from the north of England; that
    he came down on Monday in a chaise and four to see the place, and was
    so much delighted with it that he agreed with Mr. Morris immediately;
    that he is to take possession before Michaelmas, and some of his
    servants are to be in the house by the end of next week."

    "What is his name?"

    "Bingley."

    "Is he married or single?"

    "Oh! single, my dear, to be sure! A single man of large fortune; four
    or five thousand a year. What a fine thing for our girls!"

    "How so? How can it affect them?"

    "My dear Mr. Bennet," replied his wife, "how can you be so tiresome!
    You must know that I am thinking of his marrying one of them."

    "Is that his design in settling here?"

    "Design! nonsense, how can you talk so! But it is very likely that he
    may fall in love with one of them, and therefore you must visit him
    as soon as he comes."

    "I see no occasion for that. You and the girls may go, or you may
    send them by themselves, which perhaps will be still better, for as
    you are as handsome as any of them, Mr. Bingley might like you the
    best of the party."

    "My dear, you flatter me. I certainly have had my share of beauty,
    but I do not pretend to be anything extraordinary now. When a woman
    has five grown-up daughters, she ought to give over thinking of her
    own beauty."

    "In such cases, a woman has not often much beauty to think of."

    "But, my dear, you must indeed go and see Mr. Bingley when he comes
    into the neighbourhood."

    "It is more than I engage for, I assure you."

    "But consider your daughters. Only think what an establishment it
    would be for one of them. Sir William and Lady Lucas are determined
    to go, merely on that account, for in general you know they visit no
    newcomers. Indeed you must go, for it will be impossible for us to
    visit him if you do not."

    "You are over scrupulous surely. I dare say Mr. Bingley will be very
    glad to see you; and I will send a few lines by you to assure him of
    my hearty consent to his marrying whichever he chooses of the girls;
    though I must throw in a good word for my little Lizzy."

    "I desire you will do no such thing. Lizzy is not a bit better than
    the others; and I am sure she is not half so handsome as Jane, nor
    half so good-humoured as Lydia. But you are always giving her the
    preference."

    "They have none of them much to recommend them," replied he; "they
    are all silly and ignorant like other girls; but Lizzy has something
    more of quickness than her sisters."

    "Mr. Bennet, how can you abuse your own children in such a way?...
About the Author-
  • Though the domain of Jane Austen's novels was as circumscribed as her life, her caustic wit and keen observation made her the equal of the greatest novelists in any language. Born the seventh child of the rector of Steventon, Hampshire, on December 16, 1775, she was educated mainly at home. At an early age she began writing sketches and satires of popular novels for her family's entertainment. As a clergyman's daughter from a well-connected family, she had an ample opportunity to study the habits of the middle class, the gentry, and the aristocracy. At twenty-one, she began a novel called "The First Impressions" an early version of Pride and Prejudice. In 1801, on her father's retirement, the family moved to the fashionable resort of Bath. Two years later she sold the first version of Northanger Abby to a London publisher, but the first of her novels to appear was Sense and Sensibility, published at her own expense in 1811. It was followed by Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), and Emma (1815).
    After her father died in 1805, the family first moved to Southampton then to Chawton Cottage in Hampshire. Despite this relative retirement, Jane Austen was still in touch with a wider world, mainly through her brothers; one had become a very rich country gentleman, another a London banker, and two were naval officers. Though her many novels were published anonymously, she had many early and devoted readers, among them the Prince Regent and Sir Walter Scott. In 1816, in declining health, Austen wrote Persuasion and revised Northanger Abby, Her last work, Sandition, was left unfinished at her death on July 18, 1817. She was buried in Winchester Cathedral. Austen's identity as an author was announced to the world posthumously by her brother Henry, who supervised the publication of Northanger Abby and Persuasion in 1818.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Juliet Stevenson delivers Austen's lovely prose with the grace and intelligence that it deserves. Most of the novel moves at a stately pace, even the most emotional peaks of the love story, and Stevenson delivers it with the measured cadence it demands. She isn't quite as strong when speaking the male dialogue, but when she's speaking as any of the female characters--especially the silly, breathy ones like Lydia or Mrs. Bennet--she strikes the perfect tone. However, this abridgment leaves much to be desired. Some of Austen's wittiest lines are cut, and so much is lost from some interactions that several characters come off far more flatly than written. G.T.B. (c) AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 4, 2018
    Collagist Fabe adds flair to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice with 39 original illustrations that accompany the unabridged text. Fabe’s collages overlay bright, watercolor-washed scenes with retro cut-paper figures and objects sampled from fashion magazines from the 1930s to the ’50s. Accompanying each tableau is a quote from the Pride and Prejudice passage that inspired it. Like Austen’s book, Fabe’s work explores arcane customs of beauty and courtship, pageantry and social artifice: in one collage, a housewife holds a tray of drinks while a man sits happily with a sandwich in hand in the distance. While tinged with irony and more than a dash of social commentary, the collages nevertheless have a spirit of glee and evidence deep reverence for the novel. As Fabe describes in a preface, Austen “was a little bit mean—the way real people are mean—so there are both heroes and nincompoops. Family is both beloved and annoying. That is Austen’s genius, her ability to describe people in all their frailty and humor.” This is a sweet and visually appealing homage.

  • Virginia Woolf "The wit of Jane Austen has for partner the perfection of her taste."
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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