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Pride and Prejudice

by Jane Austen (1775-1817)

English Novelist

by Jane Austen (1775-1817). English Novelist.

Jane Austen was literature’s first badass female novelist. Although she published her novels anonymously in her own time — though she did take the daring step of describing herself as “A Lady” — readers now widely regard her as one of the finest artists of the English language. She pioneered the comedy of manners, a genre that pokes fun of unwritten social rules and aristocratic class pretensions. With subtle wit, Austen staked a claim for strong, independent women through her characterizations and unique voice. However, she also acknowledged the complex range of human emotion and behavior. Everyone is flawed, but that doesn’t mean we get to be jerks about it.


Published in January of 1813, Pride and Prejudice remains Austen’s best known work, a master class in in characterization and clever observation that lays the groundwork for contemporary humor. While the specific details of upper and middle class life in the English countryside may feel dated to anyone who has never attended a ballroom social, the book endures as an honest assessment of both the sentimental and pragmatic aspects of love. In the end, it’s a sober-minded and even stubborn rejoinder to the Gothic and Romantic authors who were her literary contemporaries. For anyone interested in how literature helps us better understand human beings, the book is an essential read.


To read the novel, click on the image below!

Image Credits

Colorized Portrait of Jane Austen, 1873. Based on an engraving by Cassandra Austen. 

Jasmine [Background]. Original by William Morris enhanced by Rawpixel

Back View of Jane Austen, Watercolour, 1804. By Cassandra Austen, {{PD-US}}

Title page from the first edition of the first volume of Pride and Prejudice, 1813. {{PD-US}}

“She is not handsome enough to tempt me.” 1895. Illustration by C.E. Brock.

All images public domain in the United States and/or licensed via the Creative Commons. 

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