Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pride and Prejudice at 200

Two hundred years after Jane Austen penned Pride and Prejudice, the regency comedy of manners has never had a larger following or longer legs.

If you weren’t sure about this before, you can be now. Yesterday marked the 200th anniversary of the book’s publication date and the international outpouring for Austen’s most famous creation was breathtaking.

If you’re an Austen fan, you can still jump on the bus. The Guardian offers up some new takes on a classic here, while The Huffington Post mixed it up fast and slick here and Slate gives us the very best of the many, many P&P covers here. The Vancouver Sun’s Pete McMartin tries to explain the enduring qualities of this now-ancient story while both the BBC and the CBC try to answer the same question with video segments.

It’s possible that The Telegraph gave the whole issue of P&P’s 200th the widest berth, with a piece called “30 great opening lines in literature,” that merely begins with Austen. Though, upon consideration, the first line of Pride and Prejudice doesn’t go very far to explaining the enduring nature of this classic: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

And so we dance.



Blogger Sue Bursztynski said...

This book deserves its classic status. It's funny, witty, charming, a bit silly. There are characters you can care about and it says something that people have updated it so many times, or at least played with it. Encouraging to us modern writers to know that it was rejected and came back years later with a different title and rewritten. Though I suspect few of us, myself included, are likely to have done books that will be around in 200 years!

Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 5:50:00 PM PST  

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