January 28th 1813: Pride and Prejudice published
On this day in 1813, British author Jane Austen published her novel Pride and Prejudice. Austen, born in Hampshire in 1775, began writing as a teenager. Her brother Henry encouraged her writing talent, and helped negotiate with a publisher to ensure her work would be shared with the public. Jane Austen’s first novel, Sense and Sensibility, was published in 1811. Pride and Prejudice appeared three years later to critical praise, which was particularly important to Austen as she called this novel her ‘own darling child’. Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Elizabeth Bennet, and her relationship with Mr. Darcy. Elizabeth’s father wants her to marry a wealthy man, but the novel focuses on marrying for love rather than due to social pressures. Austen’s later works include Mansfield Park and Emma, solidifying her status as one of Britain’s most prolific and well-loved writers. However, Austen published her work anonymously, so she was not a household name during her lifetime. Jane Austen died in 1817, two hundred years ago, aged 41. She left two novels - Persuasion and Northanger Abbey - which were published posthumously. Jane Austen’s novels are still enjoyed today for their witty insight into social mores in eighteenth century England.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife”