Pride and Prejudice

Introduction

Pride and Prejudice is an 1813 romantic novel by Jane Austen. It charts the emotional development of the protagonist Elizabeth Bennet, who learns the error of making hasty judgments and comes to appreciate the difference between the superficial and the essential. The comedy of the writing lies in the depiction of manners, education, marriage and money during the Regency era in Britain.

Mr. Bennet of the Longbourn estate has five daughters but his property is entailed, meaning that none of the girls can inherit it. His wife has no fortune, so it is imperative that at least one of the girls marry well to support the others upon his death. Jane Austen's opening line, "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife", is a sentence filled with irony and playfulness. The novel revolves around the importance of marrying for love, not simply for money, despite the social pressures to make a good (i.e., wealthy) match.

Pride and Prejudice has long fascinated readers, consistently appearing near the top of lists of "most-loved books" among literary scholars and the general public. It has become one of the most popular novels in English literature, with over 20 million copies sold and paved the way for many archetypes that abound in modern literature.[1][2] For more than a century, amateur and professional dramatic adaptations, print continuations and sequels and film and TV versions of Pride and Prejudice have portrayed the memorable characters and themes in the novel, to reach mass audiences.[3] The 2005 film Pride & Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen, is the most recent Hollywood adaptation of the book.

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