Pride and Prejudice at 200

Pride and Prejudice title page

In honour of the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, I wrote a series of ten posts between January and May 2013 about the experience of rereading the novel. I’ve read and reread and taught and written about Pride and Prejudice many times, and I really enjoyed reading and discussing it with friends old and new here on my website. Thanks to everyone who joined the discussion!

Here’s the information about the series, along with links to the ten posts, to my interview on CBC Radio on the 200th anniversary, to other P&P-related posts on my blog, and to some of the highlights from other articles celebrating the anniversary.

This is what I wrote when I started the series:

“Austen’s most famous novel is surrounded by what Alex Clark calls the ‘white noise’ of pop culture reinterpretations, homages, sequels, and of course film adaptations, many of which are interesting in their own right. I’m one of the countless people who loved the 1995 A&E/BBC ‘Pride and Prejudice’ series, I thought the ITV series ‘Lost in Austen’ was hilarious, and I’m a fan of the Cozy Classics, Little Miss Austen, and Real Reads books that introduce young children to Pride and Prejudice. At the same time, I want to try to separate the experience of reading and rereading Pride and Prejudice from the ‘white noise’ that can distract our attention from the novel itself even as it adds to the fame of both Austen and the novel she called her ‘darling Child.’

Hugh Thomson's cover for P&PI can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to avoid talking about adaptations and reinterpretations entirely, but I’ll do my best to focus on what I’m finding most intriguing in the novel on this particular rereading. Please tell me what you’re most interested in as you read or reread Pride and Prejudice, too – I welcome your comments and ideas.”

PP200Jane Austen’s “Darling Child” Meets the World: On January 28, 2013, the 200th anniversary of the day Pride and Prejudice was published, I talked about what Austen said in her letters about sharing the book with the world.

Rereading Pride and Prejudice, a Ten-Part Series:

Part One: How to Write an Intriguing First Chapter

Part Two: How to Introduce Characters in a Novel

Part Three: Can Characters Change?

240px-thompson-darcyPart Four: Why is Mr. Darcy So Attractive?

Part Five: Does Mr. Collins Read Novels?

Part Six: How to Become an Expert, by Lady Catherine de Bourgh

Part Seven: First Impressions and Second Perusals

Part Eight: Charlotte Collins, How Could You?

Part Nine: Pleasure, Pain, and the Past

Broadview Pride and PrejudicePart Ten: How to Write a Happy Ending

You can also listen to me talking about Jane Austen’s letters, what makes Pride and Prejudice so appealing, and what I love most about Austen in this January 28, 2013 interview with Stephanie Domet on CBC Radio’s Mainstreet.

And you can read a discussion of Chapter Four, “Pride and Prejudice and the Beauty of Justice,” from my book Jane Austen’s Philosophy of the Virtuesat the literary blog Frigate to Utopia.

Here’s the link to my Pride and Prejudice board on Pinterest.

Celebrating Pride and PrejudicAnd the link to my Jane Austen board on Pinterest.

My other posts about Pride and Prejudice:

Why Pride and Prejudice is a Diamond (on Susannah Fullerton’s new book Celebrating Pride and Prejudice: 200 Years of Jane Austen’s Masterpiece)

Books as Children (on Pride and Prejudice as Austen’s “darling Child,” Sense and Sensibility as a “sucking child,” and the distinction between the physical courage of childbearing and the moral courage of writing books)

Celebrating P&PPride and Prejudice at 200 (my review of Celebrating Pride and Prejudice: 200 Years of Jane Austen’s Darling Child, by Hazel Jones and Maggie Lane)

Celebrating Pride and Prejudice on Jane Austen’s Birthday (with a link to “Pride & Prejudice 200,” the Jane Austen’s House Museum website devoted to events around the world celebrating the novel’s anniversary)

The New Annotated Pride and Prejudice (my review of the Harvard University Press edition, edited by Patricia Meyer Spacks, published in Open Letters Monthly)

pride-and-prejudice-an-annotated-editionPride and Prejudice for Babies (my review of Cozy Classics: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and a comparison with Little Miss Austen: Pride and Prejudice and the Real Reads abridged version of Pride and Prejudice)

Some of the highlights among the many recent articles on Pride and Prejudice elsewhere on the web:

The Jane Austen Book Club (slideshow of P&P covers), by Janine Barchas, The New York Times

On Charlotte Lucas’s Choice, by Joshua Rothman, The New Yorker

We’ve Been with Lizzie All Along: A conversation about the enduring appeal of Pride and Prejudice, by Rohan Maitzen and Steve Donoghue, Open Letters Monthly

Austen’s Power: 200 Years of Pride and Prejudice, by Janet Davison, CBC News

Austen Power: 200 Years of Pride and Prejudice, by John Walsh, The Independent

Romance that never loses its sparkle: The world’s most influential novel ever, by Sarah Morrison and Jessica Shiraz, The Independent

Jane Austen Still Matters, 200 Years On, by Alex Clark, The Observer

Howard Jacobson asks: who cares what happens in the wider world as long as Lizzie Bennet ends up happy? (Hay Festival 2013), The Telegraph. Jacobson suggests that “Love matters in Jane Austen … because it stands for something more than itself.”

Lady Catherine de Bourgh, A Pride and Prejudice Celebration, Part One, by Vic Sanborn, Jane Austen’s World

Lady Catherine de Bourgh, A Pride and Prejudice Celebration, Part Two, by Vic Sanborn, Jane Austen’s World

And you can follow along with The Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge 2013 at Austenprose

Essays from the JASNA 2013 AGM in Minneapolis, Minnesota, “Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice … Timeless,” published in Persuasions On-Line 34.1 (2013)

28 thoughts on “Pride and Prejudice at 200”

  1. Sarah,
    What a lovely collection of posts. I did not see a “like” button. But I LOVE!!

    I will be back to peruse at my leisure. Nice ode to Pride and Prejudice 200th!

    –Sarah @WordHits


    • Thanks very much, Sarah. I’m always happy to talk about Jane Austen, especially P&P. I’ve been enjoying reading your blog, too, and I was interested to hear your experience of the moment when Pride and Prejudice “clicked” for you. I still marvel at how I missed the humour when I read it for the first time. It now seems so obvious, and so brilliant!


    • P.S. There are “like” buttons on the posts, but not on the P&P at 200 page. Thanks for the love!


  2. Janet Brush said:

    I just watched the 2005 movie version on TV. What is your opinion of it, Sarah?


    • I liked the 1995 series much better, partly because it was longer, which meant not as much had to be cut. One of the things I didn’t like about the 2005 P&P was the informality (“Mr. Darcy, what are you doing here?”). And the ending. What did you think, Janet? I’d be glad to talk more about it next time I see you.


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