Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, was first published in 1813. She began writing it in 1796 under the title First Impressions. Pride and Prejudice is the story of the Bennet family and their five unmarried daughters, Jane Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty and Lydia. Mr. Bennet’s estate is entailed away to a distant cousin of the family, so the only chance of making sure his daughters are taken care of is for them to marry well. When handsome and wealthy Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy arrive in the neighbourhood, Mrs. Bennet believes their troubles to be over. Mr. Bingley is found to be an exceptionally agreeable man, but Mr. Darcy is revealed to be a very proud disagreeable fellow. Elizabeth Bennet is particularly warm in her dislike of him, but finds herself increasingly becoming the object of Mr. Darcy’s attention. At the same time Elizabeth’s elder sister Jane falls for good natured Mr. Bingley. Tendencies to prejudice, folly, pride, and a terrible scandal step in the way of the sisters achieving happiness but in the end all behaviour is explained and forgiveness granted. Love prevails and Elizabeth and Jane find their felicity.
The recent film adaptations of Pride and Prejudice in include the famous five hour BBC production starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle and the Andrew Davis directed 2005 production starring Keira Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen. There is also the modern twist, Bridget Jones’s Diary based on the book by Helen Fielding, and the Bollywood Bride and Prejudice. In total there are four direct film adaptations of the novel.
Pride and Prejudice was first published in French editions in 1813. Secondary publications were translated into Swedish, German and Danish. It was first published in the United States in 1832. R. W Chapman’s scholarly edition of Pride and Prejudice, published first in 1923 has become the standard edition that proceeding publishers used for reference.