Along with the plays of William Shakespeare and the works of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen’s novels are among the most beloved books of Western literature. Pride and Prejudice (1813) was in Austen’s lifetime her most popular novel, and it was the author’s personal favorite. Adapted many times to the screen and stage, and the inspiration for numerous imitations, it remains today her most widely read book. Now, in this beautifully illustrated and annotated edition, distinguished scholar Patricia Meyer Spacks instructs the reader in a larger appreciation of the novel’s enduring pleasures and provides analysis of Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet, Lady Catherine, and all the characters who inhabit the world of Pride and Prejudice.
This edition will be treasured by specialists and first-time readers, and especially by devoted Austen fans who think of themselves as Friends of Jane. In her Introduction, Spacks considers Austen’s life and career, the continuing appeal of Pride and Prejudice, and its power as a stimulus for fantasy (Maureen Dowd, writing in The New York Times, can hold forth at length on Obama as a Darcy-figure, knowing full well her readers will “understand that she wished to suggest glamour and sexiness”). Her Introduction also explores the value and art of literary annotation. In her running commentary on the novel, she provides notes on literary and historical contexts, allusions, and language likely to cause difficulty to modern readers. She offers interpretation and analysis, always with the wisdom, humor, and light touch of an experienced and sensitive teacher.
Patricia Meyer Spacks is Edgar F. Shannon Professor of English, Emerita, at the University of Virginia.
Date of Birth:
December 16, 1775
Date of Death:
July 18, 1817
Place of Birth:
Village of Steventon in Hampshire, England
Place of Death:
Winchester, Hampshire, England
Taught at home by her father
What People are Saying About This
Drawing on extensive knowledge, wisdom, and original insights, Professor Spacks is a monumentally intelligent guide to Pride and Prejudice. Reading Austen's masterpiece with her commentaries at hand is like reading it with a better, wiser friend: someone who is able to anticipate our questions and reactions and someone who also knows Austen and her people intimately. Deidre Lynch, University of Toronto
Pride and Prejudice: An Annotated Edition 4.3 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
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 enlighted on every aspect related to the novel, the author and her times. In a nut shell, she has vetted great resources, gathered nuggets of knowledge and placed them at our feet.
As with all of Austen's characters, this new annotated edition of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE has its own charms, "frailties, foibles and follies." Weighing in at over three pounds, and encompassing 464 pages of unabridged text and fine print margin notes, this book easily reigns as the most all-inclusive and well-researched edition of Jane Austen's masterpiece that I have ever encountered. Considering that the elaborate annotation classifies it as a reference work in addition to a full text, it is quite puzzling that it lacks an index. In addition, the illustrations are expertly selected but sadly lost some of their refinement in the printing process, coming across dark and murky in places. However, I was pleased to see a list of further reading and illustration credits listed in the back of the book to encourage readers to "add something more substantial, in the improvement of [their] minds by extensive reading."
Beautiful, sumptuous and satisfying, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: AN ANNOTATED EDITION is a monumental achievement that should be on the top of your holiday wish list and considered one of few editions available to be esteemed truly accomplished.
Laurel Ann, Austenprose
KarenSkullerud on LibraryThing
5 months ago
Austen loves to tell stories about women in England during the 1800s who were married off by their families because of title. Title and position was so important to the English gentry. But in this story, pride gets in the way of one character and prejudice, the other. Or should we say they are both full of pride and prejudice? Another one of my all time favorites by Austen.
mmyoung on LibraryThing
5 months ago
A beautiful edition although in my opinion the annotations were not as useful as those in Shapard's annotation. If one has only the money (or space) for one of these books I would vote for Shapard's.
Witty and intelligent, Miss Elizabeth Bennet has vowed that nothing but the deepest love shall
tempt her into matrimony, a tenuous prospect for a poor gentlewoman in 19th century England. She rejects an unexpected offer of marriage from wealthy Mr. ...
Puffin Plated: A Book-to-Table Reading ExperienceA deluxe, full-color hardback edition of the perennial Jane Austen
classic featuring a selection of recipes for tea-time treats by the one and only Martha Stewart!Have your book and eat it, too, with this clever edition ...
Jane Austen’s most ambitious novel, Mansfield Park, has always generated debate. Austen herself noted that
debate when she conducted a reader survey, recording her acquaintances’ mixed reviews in a booklet she entitled “Opinions of Mansfield Park.” Is this novel’s dutiful ...
“Ingenious . . . Mary B is a tribute not just to [Jane] Austen but to defiant
women of any era.”—USA TodayThe overlooked middle sister in Pride and Prejudice casts off her prim exterior and takes center stage in this fresh retelling ...
Pride And Prejudice, the story of Mrs. Bennet's attempts to marry off her five daughters
is one of the best-loved and most enduring classics in English literature. Excitement fizzes through the Bennet household at Longbourn in Hertfordshire when young, eligible ...
A password book hidden in plain sight for fans of Jane Austen and Pride and
Prejudice!Are you always forgetting your website logins, usernames and passwords? Do you have lots of sticky notes, old envelopes or labels around the house to ...
Jane Austen's classic romance brings us the love story of Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Mr.
Fitzwilliam Darcy. Darcy's prejudice against the society of Longbourn and refusal to dance with Elizabeth cause the villagers to view him as arrogant. As time ...
This is the original great classic Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. Included are wonderful
illustrations, by renowned master Manet. The book includes a live linked table of contents for easy navigation.