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Pride and Prejudice: The Century Jane Austen I [Hardcover]

Jane Austen
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,445 customer reviews)


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Book Description

March 1986 0712610111 978-0712610117
Elizabeth Bennet is at first determined to dislike Mr. Darcy, who is handsome and eligible. This misjudgment only matched in folly by Darcy's arrogant pride. Their first impressions give way to truer feelings in a comedy concerned with happiness and how it might be achieved.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."

Next to the exhortation at the beginning of Moby-Dick, "Call me Ishmael," the first sentence of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice must be among the most quoted in literature. And certainly what Melville did for whaling Austen does for marriage--tracing the intricacies (not to mention the economics) of 19th-century British mating rituals with a sure hand and an unblinking eye. As usual, Austen trains her sights on a country village and a few families--in this case, the Bennets, the Philips, and the Lucases. Into their midst comes Mr. Bingley, a single man of good fortune, and his friend, Mr. Darcy, who is even richer. Mrs. Bennet, who married above her station, sees their arrival as an opportunity to marry off at least one of her five daughters. Bingley is complaisant and easily charmed by the eldest Bennet girl, Jane; Darcy, however, is harder to please. Put off by Mrs. Bennet's vulgarity and the untoward behavior of the three younger daughters, he is unable to see the true worth of the older girls, Jane and Elizabeth. His excessive pride offends Lizzy, who is more than willing to believe the worst that other people have to say of him; when George Wickham, a soldier stationed in the village, does indeed have a discreditable tale to tell, his words fall on fertile ground.

Having set up the central misunderstanding of the novel, Austen then brings in her cast of fascinating secondary characters: Mr. Collins, the sycophantic clergyman who aspires to Lizzy's hand but settles for her best friend, Charlotte, instead; Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Mr. Darcy's insufferably snobbish aunt; and the Gardiners, Jane and Elizabeth's low-born but noble-hearted aunt and uncle. Some of Austen's best comedy comes from mixing and matching these representatives of different classes and economic strata, demonstrating the hypocrisy at the heart of so many social interactions. And though the novel is rife with romantic misunderstandings, rejected proposals, disastrous elopements, and a requisite happy ending for those who deserve one, Austen never gets so carried away with the romance that she loses sight of the hard economic realities of 19th-century matrimonial maneuvering. Good marriages for penniless girls such as the Bennets are hard to come by, and even Lizzy, who comes to sincerely value Mr. Darcy, remarks when asked when she first began to love him: "It has been coming on so gradually, that I hardly know when it began. But I believe I must date it from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberley." She may be joking, but there's more than a little truth to her sentiment, as well. Jane Austen considered Elizabeth Bennet "as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print". Readers of Pride and Prejudice would be hard-pressed to disagree. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"The wit of Jane Austen has for partner the perfection of her taste."
--Virginia Woolf


From the Trade Paperback edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 350 pages
  • Publisher: David & Charles (March 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712610111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712610117
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,445 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,624,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
85 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, sumptuous and satisfying September 24, 2010
Format:Hardcover
Just when I thought I had more editions of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE than I should ever own up to, I will freely admit to just one more. After all, what Janeite could resist this tempting package? An unabridged first edition text; Annotations by an Austen scholar; Color illustrations; Over-sized coffee table format; Extensive introduction; And, supplemental material - all pulled together in a beautifully designed interior and stunning cover. *swoon* Where are my aromatic vinegars?

This new annotated edition appeals to modern readers on many levels beyond being a pretty package of a beloved classic. Austen is renowned for her witty dialogue and finely drawn characters, but not for her elaborate physical descriptions or historical context. When PRIDE AND PREJUDICE was originally published in 1813, this brevity was accessible to her contemporary readers who assumed the inferences, but after close to two hundred years words have changed their meaning, insinuations and subtle asides have become fuzzy, and cultural differences from Regency to twenty-first century are worlds apart. Anyone can read PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and follow the narrative, but it is so much more enjoyable if you can read it on an expanded level understanding it in social, cultural and historical context. Editor Patricia Meyer Spacks has not only added extensive notes on plot, characters, events, history, culture and critical analysis from a vast array of Austen and literary scholars, but added her own personal insights and observations from years of reading Austen and her experience as a college professor. From shoe roses to Fordyces Sermons to military floggings to the 19th-century meaning of condescension, readers will be informed and enlightened on every aspect related to the novel, the author and her times.
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603 of 654 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Jane Austen is one of the great masters of the English language, and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE is her great masterpiece, a sharp and witty comedy of manners played out in early 19th Century English society, a world in which men held virtually all the power and women were required to negotiate mine-fields of social status, respectability, wealth, love, and sex in order to marry both to their own liking and to the advantage of their family. And such is particularly the case of the Bennetts, a family of daughters whose father's estate is entailed to a distant relative, for upon Mr. Bennett's death they will lose home, land, income, everything. But are the Bennett daughters up to playing a winning hand in this high-stakes matrimonial game without forfeiting their own personal integrity?

This battle of the sexes is largely seen through the eyes of second daughter Elizabeth, who possesses a razor-sharp wit and rich sense of humor--and who finds herself hindered by her own addlepated mother, her sister Jane's hopeless love for the wealthy Mr. Bingley, and her sister Lydia's penchant for scandal... not to mention the high-born, formidable, and outrageously proud Mr. Darcy, who seems determined to trump her every card. But the game of love proves more surprising than either Elizabeth or Mr. Darcy can imagine, and sometimes a seemingly weak hand proves a winning one when all cards are on the table.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE is simply one of the funniest novels ever written, peopled with memorable characters brought vividly to life as they both succeed and fail at the game of life according to the manners of their era. It is a novel to which I return again and again, enjoying Austen's brillant talent. I have little respect for people who describe it as dull, slow, out of date, for as long as men and women live and fall in love it will never be out of style, always be meaningful, and always be funny. A masterpiece of wit and style; a timeless novel for the ages.
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467 of 513 people found the following review helpful
By Kiwi
One of the versions listed is published by "General Books LLC." Another reader complained about the tiny and almost unreadable font - you probably bought the version published by General Books LLC - and here's the reason.

General Books LLC is an imprint of VDM Publishing, (google them and take a look at the Wikipedia article on them) and they specialise in publishing books that are free of copyright without doing any editing or quality control. A few quotes from the publishers website will explain more:

"We created your book using OCR software that includes an automated spell check. Our OCR software is 99 percent accurate if the book is in good condition. However, with up to 3,500 characters per page, even one percent can be an annoying number of typos....

After we re-typeset and designed your book, the page numbers change so the old index and table of contents no longer work. Therefore, we usually remove them. Since many of our books only sell a couple of copies, manually creating a new index and table of contents could add more than a hundred dollars to the cover price....

Our OCR software can't distinguish between an illustration and a smudge or library stamp so it ignores everything except type. We would really like to manually scan and add the illustrations. But many of our books only sell a couple of copies....

We created your book using a robot who turned and photographed each page. Our robot is 99 percent accurate. But sometimes two pages stick together. And sometimes a page may even be missing from our copy of the book. We would really like to manually scan each page and buy multiple copies of each original. But many of our books only sell a couple of copies.....
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book
Published 7 hours ago by Lana Rees
5.0 out of 5 stars Always a Pleasure
I return to this book from time to time and always take pleasure from its wit and vivacity - very highly recommended for many smiles!
Published 9 hours ago by Stephen J. Easley
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Revisited
How am I qualified to critique a classic like this? It was great to read Jane's novel again and reopen the time capsule into a bygone age. Wonderful! Read more
Published 10 hours ago by Duffy
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
liked it
Published 10 hours ago by Chris
1.0 out of 5 stars Get to the point
Hardest read ever.
Published 13 hours ago by Jackee
5.0 out of 5 stars is there anyone out there that doesn't love everything about this book
Of course, is there anyone out there that doesn't love everything about this book?
Published 17 hours ago by Amanda Conklin
5.0 out of 5 stars If you have not read it, it is worth it!!!!
A wonderful story. Set in the 1800's, would be very interesting if someone adapted it to modern times. A classic like Romeo and Juliette. Read more
Published 1 day ago by jan p
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Just awesome
Published 1 day ago by MaryBeth Park
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Jane Austen and P&P forever.
Excellent. I am forever attracted to this book and loved Jane Austen and all of her books since I read pride and prejudice in my high school. Greatest romance forever.
Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book
I really enjoyed this book! Loved the language and enjoyed getting a feeling for those times! You have to wade through it at times but it is worth it!
Published 1 day ago by jenny perren
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are the kindle books abridged or unabridged or both?
The Kindle books are exactly the same as the paperback or hardcover versions of the books, unless otherwise noted. I have never run across a book that wasn't and I have had my Kindle for over a year. I'm not quite sure what Moab was looking at when he/she said that the Kindle book was 10 pages... Read More
Feb 5, 2010 by Wendy Scofield |  See all 147 posts
Victorian PORN
Is this an actual book? The link is invalid.
Aug 21, 2012 by Tmack |  See all 4 posts
Book suggestions: Old, non-typical romance
you can look for the book jane eyre by charlotte bronte that one was good and another would be beware of virtuous women but i forgot the author of that one( i think its a series) anyways that was another good one
Jul 14, 2008 by Sharon Henry |  See all 26 posts
If P&P is my favorite, what others might I like?
You must read Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series of 3 novels by Pamela Aidan book 1 : An Assembly Such As This book 2 : Duty and Desire book 3 : These Three Remain This series tells the story of Pride and Prejudice from Darcy's point of view. Starting at the beginning when he and Bingly show... Read More
Jun 3, 2008 by Wendy |  See all 23 posts
What is the best Pride and Prejudice sequel?
A caveat on Abigail Reynolds (if you get the non-sequels), who I like and own 3 books of: her Elizabeth and Darcy seem to have a tendency to ... anticipate their vows. Modern sensibilities wouldn't be offended by any means, of course, but most people have certain things in mind when they think... Read More
Sep 12, 2011 by Amazon Customer |  See all 12 posts
Best digital (kindle) version of Pride & Prejudice? Be the first to reply
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