It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
January 28, 1813: Pride and Prejudice is published.
Jane Austen’s most famous work, a satire of society and manners, was published 200 years ago today. Like all of her works, Pride and Prejudice was published anonymously - Austen was identified on the title page only as “the author of Sense and Sensibility”. Austen completed the original version in 1797. at which point it was entitled First Impressions, but this version was rejected for publication. By 1812 she had apparently revised the manuscript significantly, and it was this version that was eventually published, though under the (equally appropriate) title Pride and Prejudice, so named as to avoid confusion with other novels.
For historical context - Pride and Prejudice was written during the late Georgian era and is typically associated (along with Austen herself) with the Regency era, during which the future king George IV ruled as Prince Regent in his father’s stead. Although this was a time of great political and social change, both at home and abroad, Pride and Prejudice touches sparingly on these issues and instead focuses on the lives of the landed gentry and the not-quite-aristocrats. In addition, the novel cannot be neatly classified into one or the other of the major literary movements of the time; although Austen wrote during the Romantic period, her writing had little in common with the movement. In fact, Charlotte Brontë was a notable critic of the book, citing a lack of passion and emotion as her main complaint:
I had not seen “Pride and Prejudice,” till I read that sentence of yours, and then I got the book. And what did I find? An accurate daguerreotyped portrait of a common-place face; a carefully fenced, highly cultivated garden, with neat borders and delicate flowers; but no glance of a bright, vivid physiognomy, no open country, no fresh air, no blue hill, no bonny beck. I should hardly like to live with her ladies and gentlemen, in their elegant but confined houses.
Perhaps the main difference between the two was that Austen saw the world as a comedy rather than a tragedy (“For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?”).
Here’s to 14 hours of traveling and a lots of reading time.
I’ll see you in a few weeks Prague.
Maine here I come.
Jane Austen by Vintage Classics. Gorgeous covers.
LBGTQ* Children’s (Picture) Books To Keep On Your Radar
- Oh The Things Mommies Do! What Can Be Better Than Having Two? written by Crystal Tompkins; illustrations by Lindsey Evans (follow their tumblr HERE)
- The Boy Who Cried Fabulous written by Leslea Newman; illustrated by Peter Ferguson
- My Mommy Is A Boy written by Jason Martinez; illustrated by Karen Winchester
- My Two Super Dads written by Bronny Falls and Munsta Vincent
- Pugdog written by Andrea U’Ren (*book discussing gender)
- The Baby Kangaroo Treasure Hunt, A gay parenting story written by Carmen Martinez Jover; illustrated by Rosemary Martinez
- My Princess Boy written by Cheryl Kilodavis ; illustrations by Suzanne DeSimone (*book discussing gender)
- Arwen and Her Two Daddies written by Jarko De Witte van Leeuwen (Translated from Dutch)
- Fairy Tales of the 21st Century written by Bill Carey (retelling of Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella)
- My Uncle’s Wedding written by Eric Ross; illustrations by Tracy K. Green
I need to try and get some of these for work!
Sometimes I wish a was a teacher just so I could buy these for my classroom.