Today, bookworms, bibliophiles, novelists, and literary historians all over the world are celebrating the 200th publication anniversary of Pride and Prejudice, one of Jane Austen's best known and revered novels.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” So goes the famed opening line of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s second novel, and one of the best known and loved of all her works. The literary world is currently abuzz over the classic novel, as this very day marks and celebrates the the 200th anniversary of its publication.
The novel was written between October 1796 and August 1797 during Austen’s stay at Goodnestone Park in Kent with her brother, Edward, and his wife. Originally titled First Impressions, Austen changed the title of her work after making substantial edits between 1811 and 1812. Many believe that she obtained the title from a passage of the last chapter of Fanny Burney’s Cecilia, a 1782 novel known to be admired by Austen.
Austen sold the copyright of the novel to Thomas Egerton for £110, and it was published as a three-volume hardcover set on January 28, 1813. Since then, the story of the headstrong Elizabeth Bennet and her beliefs, ideals, and romance with Mr. Darcy has been captivating generations of ardent readers and fans.
Fast-forward to the present, Austen’s literary masterpiece not only enjoys a steady and spirited readership, but also spin-offs, mash-ups, and adaptations for film, theater, and television. Of course, the gorgeous covers gracing various editions over the years are also worth noting. But, I am particularly enamored with the exquisitely gilded Barnes and Noble Leatherbound Classics edition, which, like The Grimm’s Fairy Tales, I hope to add in my collection very soon.
What about you, my fellow analogue readers — are you also a lover of Ms. Austen’s Pride and Prejudice? Do you also hold preference for any particular fancy cover of the novel? Share your thoughts with a commend below!