Vintage Classics

Pride and Prejudice

Publisher: Vintage

No novel in English has given more pleasure than Pride and Prejudice. Because it is one of the great works in our literature, critics in every generation reexamine and reinterpret it. But the rest of us simply fall in love with it—and with its wonderfully charming and intelligent heroine, Elizabeth Bennet.


We are captivated not only by the novel’s romantic suspense but also by the fascinations of the world we visit in its pages. The life of the English country gentry at the turn of the nineteenth century is made as real to us as our own, not only by Jane Austen’s wit and feeling but by her subtle observation of the way people behave in society and how we are true or treacherous to each other and ourselves.


Chapter One

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families...
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1. Pride and Prejudice was originally titled First Impressions. Critic Brian Southam notes that this phrase comes from the language of the sentimental novels Austen often criticized, where it connoted the idea that one ought to trust one's immediate, intuitive response to things. It is widely believed that...

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"The wit of Jane Austen has for partner the perfection of her taste."
--Virginia Woolf