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Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen

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Two portraits of Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen

A novel first published in 1813 in three volumes.1
Darcy, a wealthy aristocrat, deems Elizabeth's family inferior because of their social status, while Elizabeth, a country gentleman's daughter, condemns Darcy altogether on account of his snobbery.

Volume I, Chapter I 

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 feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, 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.

"My dear Mr. Bennet," said his lady to him one day, "have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?"

Mr. Bennet replied that he had not.

"But it is," returned she; "for Mrs. Long has just been here, and she told me all about it."

Mr. Bennet made no answer.

"Do not you want to know who has taken it?" cried his wife impatiently.

"You want to tell me, and I have no objection to hearing it."

This was invitation enough.

"Why, my dear, you must know, Mrs. Long says that Netherfield is taken by a young man of large fortune from the north of England; that he came down on Monday in a chaise and four to see the place, and was so much delighted with it, that he agreed with Mr. Morris immediately; that he is to take possession before Michaelmas, and some of his servants are to be in the house by the end of next week."

1 Preliminary text, called First Impressions, written in 1796-97, revised and retitled Pride and Prejudice in 1811-12; included here is first 1813 text, with minor edits from  R. W. Chapman's (1923) and other scholarly editions.

PORTRAIT (l to r): Jane Austen? (unconfirmed; uncovered by Dr. Paula Byrne in 2011 ); Jane Austen (1810) by Cassandra Austen.
CITATION INFORMATION (in MLA format): Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. 2d ed. Gleeditions, 14 Jan. 2012, published as Pride and Prejudice: A Novel, by Jane Austen, T. Egerton, 1813. 3 vols.
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