Law School Archives
READ // Pride and Prejudice
Donna Deming, Seattle University
Pride and PrejudiceBy Jane AustenNew York : Modern Library, c1996PR4034.P72 1996
From Associate Dean Donna Deming:
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is one of the most cherished love stories in English literature: the courtship between Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy. As in any good love story, the lovers must elude and overcome numerous stumbling blocks but the ending is emotionally satisfying. Austen shows the power of love and happiness to overcome class boundaries and prejudices, a theme that parallels my own personal life. Another theme is that a person cannot be judged by his or her outer being but rather it is character that counts. A pretty face does not indicate a pure soul.
I read to escape. I enjoy books that take me to another time and place. Every time I read Pride and Prejudice, I am transported to 19th century England (or at least a romanticized version of that place). In addition to the romantic story line and the vividly drawn characters, I enjoy that this book was written by a woman at a time when English society associated a female’s entrance into the public sphere with a loss of femininity.
From the Publisher:"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."
So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen's perfect comedy of manners--one of the most popular novels of all time--that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues. "Pride and Prejudice seems as vital today as ever," writes Anna Quindlen in her introduction to this Modern Library edition. "It is a pure joy to read." Eudora Welty agrees: "The gaiety is unextinguished, the irony has kept its bite, the reasoning is still sweet, the sparkle undiminished. [It is] irresistible and as nearly flawless as any fiction could be."
About the Author:Jane Austen depicted 18th and 19th century middle class manners with insight, wit, and irony. The English novelist’s novels Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Persuasion, and Northanger Abbey all were made into films. Acclaimed and exemplified as a master story writer today, Jane Austen received little public recognition during her lifetime. The author published much of her writing anonymously; she died at the age of 41. Many of her now revered writings were published posthumously. Jane Austen Societies exist world-wide where members gather to further their understanding, promote, and share their admiration of this great author’s work.
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