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Pride and Prejudice (Modern Library Classics)

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Pride and Prejudice (Modern Library Classics) Cover

ISBN13: 9780679783268
ISBN10: 0679783261
Condition: Standard
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Reading Group Guide

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 Austen derived the later title from the fifth book of Cecilia, a novel by Fanny Burney, where the phrase appears (according to Austen biographer Park Honan, however, the phrase dates earlier, to a 1647 book by Jeremy Taylor called Liberty of Prophesying, and also appears in Gibbon's 1776 Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire). Anna Quindlen, in her Introduction to the Modern Library edition, indicates her preference for the second title ("Austen originally named the book First Impressions; thank God for second thoughts!"). Which do you think is the more appropriate title and why?

2. The famous opening line of Pride and Prejudice-"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife "-magnificently displays the irony that suffuses the novel at both local and structural levels. What is the purpose of irony in Pride and Prejudice!?

3. Austen was writing during a time when novels in the form of letters - called epistolary novels-were very popular. There are nearly two dozen letters quoted in whole or in part in Pride and Prejudice, and numerous other references to letters and letter - writing. How do you think letters function in the novel? How do the letters - a narrative element-interact with the dramatic element (manifested in the dialogue)?

4. A number of critics have maintained that Darcy is not a particularly well - developed or believable character, and that his transformation is a mere plot contrivance. Others have argued that this suggestion fails to take into account the fact that the reader in large part only sees Darcy through the prejudiced eyes of Elizabeth. Which side would you take in this debate, and why?

5. Pride and Prejudice has often been criticized for the fact that it appears unconcerned with the politics of Austen's day. For example, in a letter (written before World War 1) to Thomas Hardy, Frederic Harrison refers to Austen as a "heartless little cynic" who composed "satirettes against her neighbors whilst the Dynasts were tearing the world to pieces and consigning millions to their graves." Is this charge fair?

6. Charlotte Bronte wrote in an 1848 letter to G. H. Lewes: Why do you like Miss Austen so very much? I am puzzled on that point. What induced you to say that you would have rather written Pride and Prejudice, or Tom Jones, than any of the Waverley Novels? I had not seen Pride and Prejudice till I read that sentence of yours, and then I got the book. And what did I find? An accurate, daguerreotyped portrait of a commonplace face; a carefully - fenced, highly - cultivated garden, with neat borders and delicate flowers; but no glance of a bright, vivid physiognomy, no open country, no fresh air, no blue hill, no bonny beck. I should hardly like to live with her ladies and gentlemen, in their elegant but confined houses. Do you agree with Bronte's claim that there is no poetry or passion in Pride and Prejudice, and her conclusion that "Miss Austen being ... without sentiment, without poetry, maybe is sensible, real (more real than true), but she cannot be great"?

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Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

larson514, January 4, 2013 (view all comments by larson514)
I've read Pride and Prejudice so many times but every time I do I always find stuff I miss. Elizabeth Bennet's and Mr. Darcy's love story is better then Romeo and Juliet.
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Trissca, October 21, 2012 (view all comments by Trissca)
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, “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 feeling or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighborhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.”

Enter the world of the Miss Bennets, the amiable Mr. Bingley, the loved by most, Mr. Wickham, The silly headed clergyman, Mr. Collins; and the proud Mr. Darcy. This world is full of women in dresses, and men in top hats, pride and prejudice, broken hearts and wit, scandal and romance, money and love. Dive into the world where you may not want to trust your first impressions; as the saying goes, it’s more than meets the eye.
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Jennifer Hensley, August 10, 2012 (view all comments by Jennifer Hensley)
I have the pleasure of teaching a class on Jane Austen next month, and I am so thrilled! This has been one of my long-time
favorites: it's witty, clever, and so ahead of it's time. The characters in Pride and Prejudice are strong and delightful; they are fully developed and round, so much so that Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy are commonly known in the world of literature. Jane Austen is a brilliant writer, and her satire sharp and humorous. This is a book you will read over and over again, it is so delicious.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780679783268
Introduction:
Quindlen, Anna
Author:
Quindlen, Anna
Author:
Austen, Jane
Publisher:
Modern Library
Location:
New York
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
England
Subject:
Young women
Subject:
Sisters
Subject:
Love stories
Subject:
Courtship
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Prejudices
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Modern Library Classics
Series Volume:
124-00
Publication Date:
20001031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8 x 5.11 x 0.66 in 0.5 lb

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Pride and Prejudice (Modern Library Classics) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 320 pages Modern Library - English 9780679783268 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Anna Quindlen writes the Introduction for this edition of the classic comedy of manners between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet.
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