Item description for Pride and Prejudice (Classic Fiction) by Jane Austen & Jenny Agutter...
A perennial favorite in the Norton Critical Editions series, Pride and Prejudice is based on the 1813 first edition text, which has been thoroughly annotated for undergraduate readers.
"Backgrounds and Sources" includes biographical portraits of Austen by members of her family and by acclaimed biographers Claire Tomalin and David Nokes. Seventeen of Austen's letters---eight of them new to the Third Edition---allow readers to glimpse the close-knit society that was Austen's world, both in life and in her writing. Samples of Austen's early writing---from the epistolary Love and FriendshipA Collection of Letters---allow readers to trace her growth as a writer as well as to read her fiction comparatively.
"Criticism" features eighteen assessments of the novel by nineteenth- and twentieth-century commentators, six of them new to the Third Edition. Among them is an interview with Colin Firth on the recent BBC television adaptation of the novel. Also included are pieces by Richard Whately, Margaret Oliphant, Richard Simpson, D. W. Harding, Dorothy Van Ghent, Alistair Duckworth, Stuart Tave, Marilyn Butler, Nina Auerbach, Susan Morgan, Claudia L. Johnson, Susan Fraiman, Deborah Kaplan, Tara Goshal Wallace, Cheryl L. Nixon, David Spring, Edward Ahearn, and Donald Gray.
Also included are a Note on Money, a Chronology of Austen's life and work---new to the Third Edition---and an updated Selected Bibliography.
About the Series: No other series of classic texts equals the caliber of the Norton Critical Editions. Each volume combines the most authoritative text available with the comprehenive pedagogical apparatus necessary to appreciate the work fully. Careful editing, first-rate translation, and thorough explanatory annotations allow each text to meet the highest literary standards while remaining accessible to students. Each edition is printed on acid-free paper and every text in the series remains in print. Norton Critical Editions are the choice for excellence in scholarship for students at more than 2,000 universities worldwide.
Outline "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, Austen then brings in her cast of fascinating secondary characters: Mr. Collins, the sycophantic clergyman who aspires to Lizzy's hand but settles for her best friend, Charlotte, instead; Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Mr. Darcy's insufferably snobbish aunt; and the Gardiners, Jane and Elizabeth's low-born but noble-hearted aunt and uncle. Some of Austen's best comedy comes from mixing and matching these representatives of different classes and economic strata, demonstrating the hypocrisy at the heart of so many social interactions. And though the novel is rife with romantic misunderstandings, rejected proposals, disastrous elopements, and a requisite happy ending for those who deserve one, Austen never gets so carried away with the romance that she loses sight of the hard economic realities of 19th-century matrimonial maneuvering. Good marriages for penniless girls such as the Bennets are hard to come by, and even Lizzy, who comes to sincerely value Mr. Darcy, remarks when asked when she first began to love him: "It has been coming on so gradually, that I hardly know when it began. But I believe I must date it from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberley." She may be joking, but there's more than a little truth to her sentiment, as well. Jane Austen considered Elizabeth Bennet "as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print". Readers of Pride and Prejudice would be hard-pressed to disagree. --Alix Wilber
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Format: Abridged, Audiobook, Classical
Studio: Naxos Audiobooks
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5.25" Height: 4.75" Weight: 0.4 lbs.
Publisher Naxos Audiobooks
ISBN 9626341041 ISBN13 9789626341049
Availability 0 units.
More About Jane Austen & Jenny Agutter
Jane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature. Her realism, biting irony and social commentary have gained her historical importance among scholars and critics.
Austen lived her entire life as part of a close-knit family located on the lower fringes of the English landed gentry. She was educated primarily by her father and older brothers as well as through her own reading. The steadfast support of her family was critical to her development as a professional writer. Her artistic apprenticeship lasted from her teenage years into her thirties. During this period, she experimented with various literary forms, including the epistolary novel which she then abandoned, and wrote and extensively revised three major novels and began a fourth. From 1811 until 1816, with the release of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1816), she achieved success as a published writer. She wrote two additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published posthumously in 1818, and began a third, which was eventually titled Sanditon, but died before completing it.
Austen's works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century realism. Her plots, though fundamentally comic, highlight the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security. Her work brought her little personal fame and only a few positive reviews during her lifetime, but the publication in 1869 of her nephew's A Memoir of Jane Austen introduced her to a wider public, and by the 1940s she had become widely accepted in academia as a great English writer. The second half of the 20th century saw a proliferation of Austen scholarship and the emergence of a Janeite fan culture.
Reviews - What do customers think about Pride and Prejudice (Classic Fiction)?
this book rocks!! Jul 5, 2008
No need for lots of words here: this is one the best books ever written. Each re-reading highlights Austen's genius, as new gems are discovered throughout in various forms. 'nuff said.
What about the vocal delivery of this CD? Jul 4, 2008
Everybody talks about the book. No one talks about the reading of this book by the reader, Irene Sutcliffe. I have not listened to the CD, but before I buy this CD, I want to see some review of the vocal delivery. Is her reading enticing, annoying, off-putting, etc?
A classic that can be read again and again Jun 16, 2008
I've read this book twelve times, and I will never get bored with it. I'm hoplessly romantic, and I love the different conflicts, the interesting and independent characters, the plot twists, and the happily ever after at the end. Elizabeth Bennet is an independent, youthful, clever, and witty young woman in the eighteen hundreds. She is my favorite character in the novel, and has a wonderful spunky nature that keeps the book alive. The characters are fully formed and realistic, from beautiful Jane to the hilarious Mrs. Bennet. This is, by far, the best Jane Austen book ever published, and recommend it very strongly for anyone starting to read eighteenth and nineteenth century literature.
One of my favorite books Jun 11, 2008
This is an absolutely wonderful book! It is a timeless story about the tangled relationship between Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. What I love so much about this book is how relevant these situations still are and how easy it is to relate to all of the characters. I have read other Jane Austin novels, and so far this is by far my favorite. Elizabeth is such a strong female character, and Mr. Darcy is a wonderfully complex and interesting male character. This is definitely one of my "comfort books." Whenever I have had an unpleasant day or need to relax, rereading Pride and Prejudice always makes me feel better. Truly, it is on of the best books I've ever read.
5 billion stars May 13, 2008
I have no right to review Jane Austen. I give this book 5 billion stars.