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A single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife!

  • Mar 26, 2011
Rating:
+4
The marriage, property and inheritance laws of the late 18th and early 19th century, by today's standards, can be considered cruelly misogynistic.

The Bennett family estate is entailed and, as Mr Bennett's family consists of his wife and five daughters (nary a son in sight), there is a strong likelihood that, when he passes away, the six surviving ladies will be left homeless and with no income or property. Mrs Bennett is deeply concerned with the situation and frantically searches for the expedient solution of the day (marriage to an eligible man of property whose family would provide her daughters with both a home and settlement of a suitable annual stipend for living expenses). On the other hand, Mr Bennett's approach is much more relaxed and he gives the impression that he feels the marriage of his daughters will take care of itself in due course and that all will ultimately turn out for the best.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, told primarily from the point of view of Elizabeth Bennett, the most sensible daughter in a family of ladies whose general attitude seems to be quite vapid and utterly self-centered, is a story driven not so much by plot as by character development combined with a comedic critique of the issues of early 19th century mores among the landed gentry - manners, upbringing, morality, education, marriage, conventions, etiquette, leisure, societal behaviour and so on. It might be compared to a much more modern equivalent in F Scott Fitzgerald's THE GREAT GATSBY or on a considerably lighter note, television's famous sitcom SEINFELD. The common factor here ... in a background of purely social commentary, nothing of note really happens. The social commentary IS the story!

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE has withstood the onslaught of time and remains to this day (and justifiably so) one of the most popular novels in the entire pantheon of English literature.

Highly recommended.

Paul Weiss

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March 27, 2011
My favorite Jane Austen book thus far. I haven't read all of them, yet, but one of these days... ;)
 
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More Pride and Prejudice (book) reviews
review by . June 08, 2010
I love this book because it especially easy for someone who has ever been confused about a romantic relationship (aka everyone) to identify with Elizabeth Bennett or Mr. Darcy. The travails of either being pursued or pursuing ourselves are part of the core set of experiences that traverse through every branch of humanity. The Chase is an integral part of the human experience and Jane Austen's classic does a marvelous job of adding in appropriate amounts of family humor and theater drama to …
Quick Tip by . October 08, 2010
Pride and Prejudice vividly illustrates a caste of 18th century polite society. One learns about about what's good and what's bad and what's sheisty. It's so cool, because the sassy heroine of limited fortune attracts the rich, good-looking (appears to be stuck up but he's just "proper")
review by . July 04, 2010
I am not much of one for reading old, complicated prose books- I really prefer contemporary lit. But I wanted to give this a shot simply because it is such a institution. I was pleasantly surprised- it reads like an old novel, and could be considered long-winded by today's standards, but somehow I was hung up the entire time! its just such a fun book. you get so interested in all the couples in the book, i really responded to everyone. A lot of their problems were things that are completely …
review by . July 21, 2010
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is the most favorite of all the Austen novels to me.  The plot is so well constructed and the characters are amazingly colorful and more than just two dimensional.  Mr. Darcy, the male protagonist of the novel has a wonderful dark-brooding side to him.  The mystery of his aura is enough to make any woman swoon.  It is completely understandable how Miss Elizabeth Bennett could both love and disdain him.  Lizzie's older sister, Jane …
review by . June 08, 2010
I have read Pride and Prejudice twice. Both times were for a class I was taking. The first time was senior year in high school and I hated it. Second time was in my humanities class in college and enjoyed it. So this review is based on my second time reading it.   Pride and Prejudice is a novel written by Jane Austin way back in the 1800's. One thing I find fascinating about this novel is that the relationship between men and women have not changed very much since then. Granted the …
Quick Tip by . July 21, 2010
A classic story. I love Jane Austen! She's a wonderful author.
review by . July 17, 2010
Of Jane Austen's six novels, Pride and Prejudice is arguably the most beloved.  Main character Elizabeth Bennet has long been held up as an ideal for many a young woman.  But what really makes Austen's stories special is her sharp and witty insight into the natures of both women and men.  This shines through especially in her collection of characters in Pride and Prejudice.  While famous for her lovable heroines, Austen gives us equally entertaining male leads.  …
Quick Tip by . July 15, 2010
It's a classic for a reason. Who doesn't want Mr. Darcy to sweep them off their independent, strong-willed feet?
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
Great Classic!!! The humor is very subtle, but once you get through the old english style you'll catch on and it's quite humorous. Great love story too! :)
Quick Tip by . July 11, 2010
Although it can go a bit slow at some points, it's a must-read that can be applied to modern-day
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Paul Weiss ()
Ranked #16
   A modern day dilettante with widely varied eclectic interests. A dabbler in muchbut grandmaster of none - wilderness camping in all four seasons, hiking, canoeing, world travel,philately, … more
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"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."

Next to the exhortation at the beginning of Moby-Dick, "Call me Ishmael," the first sentence of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice must be among the most quoted in literature. And certainly what Melville did for whaling Austen does for marriage--tracing the intricacies (not to mention the economics) of 19th-century British mating rituals with a sure hand and an unblinking eye. As usual, Austen trains her sights on a country village and a few families--in this case, the Bennets, the Philips, and the Lucases. Into their midst comes Mr. Bingley, a single man of good fortune, and his friend, Mr. Darcy, who is even richer. Mrs. Bennet, who married above her station, sees their arrival as an opportunity to marry off at least one of her five daughters. Bingley is complaisant and easily charmed by the eldest Bennet girl, Jane; Darcy, however, is harder to please. Put off by Mrs. Bennet's vulgarity and the untoward behavior of the three younger daughters, he is unable to see the true worth of the older girls, Jane and Elizabeth. His excessive pride offends Lizzy, who is more than willing to believe the worst that other people have to say of him; when George Wickham, a soldier stationed in the village, does indeed have a discreditable tale to tell, his words fall on fertile ground.

Having set up the central misunderstanding of the novel, ...

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Details

ISBN-10: 0141439513
ISBN-13: 978-0141439518
Author: Jane Austen
Genre: Classics
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Date Published: December 31, 2002
ISBN: 0141439513 /9780141439518
Format: Paperback
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