28 January 2013

Pride and Prejudice

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

So begins Pride and Prejudice, one of the greatest novels ever written (yes, ever written). Today marks the 200th anniversary of its publication on January 28, 1813 by Thomas Egerton of London who paid its author, Jane Austen, £110 for the copyright. Since then it has been re-printed countless times for generations of delighted readers who can’t help but fall in love with Elizabeth and Darcy.

Many years ago I visited Chawton Cottage, Austen’s final home (now Jane Austen's House Museum). In the parlour was the tiny writing table where she worked. She had a window with a view and a nearby swing door whose creaking would warn her when someone was approaching (legend has it that she would hide her pages under blotter paper before anyone entered). It was there that she revised Pride and Prejudice. That day I bought a copy of the novel (the Oxford edition) and a tea towel at the gift shop; I still have both. Once a year I re-read that same copy of Pride and Prejudice, which never fails to lift my spirits and always make me grateful for Jane Austen.

To mark the occasion, there are a slew of Pride and Prejudice celebrations happening so check out this calendar of events here.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...