Pride and Prejudice
  • Publication Date: December 20, 2001
  • ISBN: 9781551110288 / 1551110288
  • 493 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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Pride and Prejudice

  • Publication Date: December 20, 2001
  • ISBN: 9781551110288 / 1551110288
  • 493 pages; 5½" x 8½"

Elizabeth Bennet is Austen’s most liberated and unambiguously appealing heroine, and Pride and Prejudice has remained over most of the past two centuries Austen’s most popular novel. The story turns on the marriage prospects of the five daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet: Elizabeth forms a prejudice against the proud and distant Mr. Darcy; Darcy’s charming friend Charles Bingley falls in love with her sister Jane; and the handsome officer George Wickham forms attachments successively to Elizabeth and to her sister Lydia.

Irvine’s extensive introduction sets the novel in the context of the literary and intellectual history of the period, and deals with such crucial background issues as early-nineteenth century class relations in Britain, and female exclusion from property and power. The appendices present an unrivaled selection of background contextual documents.

Comments

“Robert Irvine’s edition of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is a wonderfully illuminating text of an often misunderstood classic. Irvine’s introduction is subtle, shrewd, and penetrating, offering a convincing historical and cultural interpretation of Austen’s novel that will help readers to understand its full complexity.” — John Richetti, University of Pennsylvania

“Elizabeth and Darcy come to life—rich, historical life—in this brilliant Broadview edition. Thanks to a compelling introduction and capacious appendices, we can see how their private compromise enacts a public one: old and new wealth merge as the English appropriate their own elite ‘as an aesthetic phenomenon’—an appropriation that transforms national identity into a matter of ‘culture.’ Irvine’s Pride and Prejudice matches a carefully annotated text with a critical frame that synthesizes the seemingly disparate strands—political, socio-economic, feminist—of recent Austen criticism.” — Clifford Siskin, University of Glasgow

Acknowledgements
Introduction
Jane Austen and her Time: a Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text
Pride and Prejudice

Appendix A: Parliamentary Debate on the Marriage Act of 1754

Appendix B: From the Conduct Books

  1. James Fordyce, Sermons to Young Women
  2. John Gregory, A Father’s Legacy (1774)

Appendix C: Burke on the French Revolution (1790)

Appendix D: Discussion of Women’s Role after the French Revolution

  1. Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792)
  2. Hannah More, Strictures on Female Education (1799)

Appendix E: Domestic Tourism

  1. William Watts, Seats of the Nobility (1779)
  2. William Bray, Sketch of a Tour into Derbyshire (1777)

Appendix F: The Militia Regiments on the South Coast of England in 1793-95

  1. Women
  2. Officers
  3. Men

Appendix G: Austen’s Letters to her Sister

Appendix H: Contemporary Periodical Reviews of Pride and Prejudice

  1. The British Critic
  2. The Critical Review

Select Bibliography

Robert P. Irvine of the Department of English Literature, University of Edinburgh, has previously published on Smollett and Scott.

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