Pride and Prejudice


You could not shock her more than she shocks me, Beside her Joyce seems innocent as grass. It makes me most uncomfortable to see An English spinster of the middle class Describe the amorous effects of 'brass', Reveal so frankly and with such sobriety The economic basis of society.

W.H.Auden (1937) on Austen[25]

The novel was well received, with three favourable reviews in the first months following publication.[22] Anne Isabella Milbanke, later to be the wife of Lord Byron, called it "the fashionable novel".[22] Noted critic and reviewer George Henry Lewes declared that he "would rather have written Pride and Prejudice, or Tom Jones, than any of the Waverley Novels".[25]

Charlotte Brontë, however, in a letter to Lewes, wrote that Pride and Prejudice was a disappointment, "a carefully fenced, highly cultivated garden, with neat borders and delicate flowers; but ... no open country, no fresh air, no blue hill, no bonny beck."[25]

Modern popularity

  • In 2003 the BBC conducted the largest ever poll for the "UK's Best-Loved Book" in which Pride and Prejudice came second, behind The Lord of the Rings.[26]
  • In a 2008 survey of more than 15,000 Australian readers, Pride and Prejudice came first in a list of the 101 best books ever written.[27]
  • The 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice on 28 January 2013 was celebrated around the globe by media networks such as The Huffington Post, The New York Times, and The Daily Telegraph, among others.[28][29][30][31][32][33][34]

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