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200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the publication (not the writing) of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, so it’s appropriate that I say a few words and provide some links. (Fear not, any non-Austen fans [who are you people?]: I’ll be talking about other stuff too.)

First up is “Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice at 200: Looking Afresh at a Classic” in The Guardian, 26 January 2013, by Bharat Tandon (writing about Mrs. Bennet sympathetically), John Mullan (about Mr. Bennet, damningly), Zoe Williams (Lizzie Bennet, unsympathetically), Sebastian Faulks (Mr. Darcy is a depressive who needs Lizzie to be his Prozac), P.D. James (who writes an unpersuasive alternate history wherein George Wickham succeeds in life and Mr. Darcy fails), Paula Byrne (Lydia Bennet), Janet Todd (Mary Bennet) and Lucy Mangan (Charlotte Lucas). The reassessments of Mr. Bennet, Lizzie, Mr. Darcy and Charlotte rearranged my thinking a trifle.

Not as “fresh” because it’s from October 2005 but no less valuable for that is critic Abigail Nussbaum’s post “4 Popular Misconceptions About Pride and Prejudice.” The four are “Jane Austen wrote chick-lit,” “Elizabeth Bennet is a ‘modern’ woman,” “Mr.… continue reading