A Summary and Analysis of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

Pride and Prejudice, published in 1813, is Jane Austen’s best-known and probably most widely studied novel. But what does the novel mean? What is it really all about? And where did that title, Pride and Prejudice, come from?

Before we attempt to answer some of these questions, it might be worth recapping the plot of Austen’s novel. So, before our analysis of Pride and Prejudice, here’s a brief plot summary.

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Five Fascinating Facts about Jane Austen

A very short biography of Jane Austen told in five pieces of great trivia

1. Many writers have hated her. D. H. Lawrence called Jane Austen a ‘narrow gutted spinster’, while Mark Twain didn’t pull any punches: ‘Everytime I read “Pride and Prejudice” I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone,’ he wrote in a letter to Joseph Twichell in 1898. (Twain’s attitude to Austen is a little more complicated than this line suggests, however.) Virginia Woolf later wrote that ‘I’d give all she ever wrote for half what the Brontës wrote—if my reason did not compel me to see that she is a magnificent artist.’ She had a difficult time getting her novels into print: Pride and Prejudice was eventually published in 1813, but its earlier incarnation (as First Impressions) had been turned down by a leading London publisher when Austen’s father offered it to them.

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Interesting Facts about Pride and Prejudice

2013 marks the bicentenary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice, surely Jane Austen’s most famous novel. Over 20 million copies are thought to have been sold worldwide. Here at Interesting Literature we thought we’d look around for some interesting facts concerning this Austen classic.

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