Pride and Prejudice, Level 5

Pride and Prejudice, Level 5

by Jane Austen
     
 

Many consider this rich social commentary to be Jane Austen's finest novel. It is certainly among her more famous ones. Austen sets her entertaining study of manners and misconceptions against the backdrop of a class-conscious society in 18th-century England.

Spirited, intelligent Elizabeth Bennet is alternately enchanted and affronted by Mr. Darcy. She is…  See more details below

Overview

Many consider this rich social commentary to be Jane Austen's finest novel. It is certainly among her more famous ones. Austen sets her entertaining study of manners and misconceptions against the backdrop of a class-conscious society in 18th-century England.

Spirited, intelligent Elizabeth Bennet is alternately enchanted and affronted by Mr. Darcy. She is quick to suspend her usual, more rational judgment when it comes to him. She also is quick to believe the worst gossip about this haughty, opinionated man, who soon manages to alienate Elizabeth and her family. But is the condescending air that Mr. Darcy wars an indication of his real character? Or has Elizabeth's pride gotten in the way of her chance for true romance?

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Austen is the hot property of the entertainment world with new feature film versions of Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility on the silver screen and Pride and Prejudice hitting the TV airwaves on PBS. Such high visibility will inevitably draw renewed interest in the original source materials. These new Modern Library editions offer quality hardcovers at affordable prices.
Booknews
Presents the 1813 first edition text of , accompanied by an interesting selection of background material including biographical portraits by Austin's family members and biographers, 17 letters written by Austin (eight new to this edition), and 18 critical pieces by 19th and 20th century commentators (six new to this edition). Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780582419353
Publisher:
Pearson ESL
Publication date:
12/05/2000
Series:
Penqui Reading Lab Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
133
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.84(h) x 0.41(d)

Read an Excerpt

"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 one of the finest novels written in the English language, Pride and Prejudice. Yet it was published anonymously, its author described on the title page only as "a lady." The writing of novels was a disreputable profession in the early part of the nineteenth century; when her family composed the inscription for her tomb in Winchester Cathedral shortly after her death in 1817, Jane Austen was described as daughter, Christian, but not as writer. In a memoir of his aunt, J. E. Austen-Leigh wrote of the verger at the cathedral who asked a visitor to the grave, "Pray, Sir, can you tell me whether there was anything particular about that lady; so many people want to know where she was buried."

She wrote not of war and peace, but of men, money, and marriage, the battlefield for women of her day and, surely, of our own. She set both theme and tone in that tartly aphoristic first sentence: This is a world in which personal relationships are based more often on gain than on love and respect. It is the world of the five Bennet sisters, growing up in the English countryside as the eighteenth century gives way to the nineteenth, who must find husbands if they are to make their way in the world. And it is about the dance of attraction between two brilliant, handsome human beings who teach each other, through trial and considerable error, the folly of their greatest faults.

But Pride and Prejudice is also about that thing that all great novels consider, the search for self. And it is the first great novel to teach us that that search is as surely undertakenin the drawing room making small talk as in the pursuit of a great white whale or the public punishment of adultery. "And Jane Austen," Somerset Maugham once wrote, "the daughter of a rather dull and perfectly respectable father, a clergyman, and a rather silly mother. How did she come to write Pride and Prejudice? The whole thing is a mystery." Maugham misses the point. What was true of Austen is true of many other women throughout history; she was educated in human nature by her friends, family, and neighbors, and it was to that circle of polite society that she turned in her fiction. She is the standard-bearer for what we now sometimes, condescendingly, call domestic drama, a writer who believed the clash of personalities was as meaningful - perhaps more meaningful - than the clash of sabers. For those of us who suspect all the mysteries of life are contained in the microcosm of the family, that personal relationships prefigure all else, the work of Jane Austen is the Rosetta stone of literature. We can only hope that when she described her first novel as "rather too light and bright," she was being ironic rather than self-deprecating.



From the Audio Cassette edition.

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What People are saying about this

Virgina Woolf
"The wit of Jane Austen has for Parchner the perfection of her taste.

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