Pride and Prejudice (Bestselling Illustrated Classics)
‘It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.’ Thus memorably begins Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, one of the world’s most popular novels. Pride and Prejudice–Austen’s own ‘darling child’–tells the story of fiercely independent Elizabeth Bennett, one of five sisters who must marry rich, as she confounds the arrogant, wealthy Mr. Darcy. What ensues is one of the most delightful and engrossingly readable courtships known to literature, written by a precocious Austen when she was just twenty-one years old.
Humorous and profound, and filled with highly entertaining dialogue, this witty comedy of manners dips and turns through drawing-rooms and plots to reach an immensely satisfying finale. In the words of Eudora Welty, Pride and Prejudice is as ‘irresistible and as nearly flawless as any fiction could be.’
Jane Austen was born in 1775 in rural Hampshire, the daughter of an affluent village rector who encouraged her in her artistic pursuits. Jane remained in the vicinity of her childhood home for much of her life. As such it was through family and friends that she learned most of her considerable understanding of manners and relationships. In novels such as Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Emma she developed her subtle analysis of contemporary life through depictions of the middle-classes in small towns. Her sharp wit and incisive portraits of ordinary people have given her novels enduring popularity. She died in 1817.