Pride and Prejudice is a novel of manners by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. The story follows the main character, Elizabeth Bennet, as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education, and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of the British Regency.
This book is a perfectly constructed novel. It can certainly be admired for the way it is put together, and it’s a masterpiece of verbal irony:
Have a look at the novel as a good example of the three-act structure: Introduction, Development, and Conclusion. Lizzie and Darcy meet, are attracted, and then fall out. They spend time apart, discovering things about each other. Then Darcy proves himself, and all ends well.
Appreciate that Austen writes in scenes. Each scene has a good reason for existing, and by the end of each scene the story has advanced and the characters are more developed.
Notice how many things are interwoven and kept going at once. There are three separate love stories, half a dozen major characters, and several strong themes.
The novel displays a good deal of observation concerning the social situation about which Austen writes, and much of the humour comes from this observation. In addition, all Austen’s characters are complex – no one is motivated by wholly bad impulses, or wholly good. In particular, the main characters, though admirable in many ways, are also flawed.
Pride and Prejudice retains a fascination for modern readers, continuing near the top of lists of “most loved books.” It has become one of the most popular novels in English literature, selling over 20 million copies, and it has received considerable attention from literary scholars.
P.S I would recommend reading Pride and Prejudice as an eBook, because most eReaders/eReader apps come with an inbuilt dictionary. I think that being able to look up words and phrases immediately helped me to enjoy Pride and Prejudice and understand it well, unlike some of my friends, who ended up hating it because they were frustrated with the writing.
As weird as this method sounds, it really worked and for me, has made reading classics fun rather than a chore. Pride and Prejudice is (legally) free to download as an eBook, so why not give it a try?
Whatever you choose to do, I hope that you enjoy Pride and Prejudice; it’s such a great book 🙂