#DailyBookQuote : 8th March 2013
– Jane Austin (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817)
So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen‘s witty comedy of manners. One of the most popular novels of all time, that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues. Renowned literary critic and historian George Saintsbury in 1894 declared it the “most perfect, the most characteristic, the most eminently quintessential of its author’s works,” and Eudora Welty in the twntieth century described it as “irresistible and as nearly flawless as any fiction could be.”
Austen’s works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century realism. Her plots, though fundamentally comic, highlight the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security. Her work brought her little personal fame and only a few positive reviews during her lifetime, but the publication in 1869 of her nephew’s A Memoir of Jane Austen introduced her to a wider public, and by the 1940s she had become widely accepted in academia as a great English writer. The second half of the 20th century saw a proliferation of Austen scholarship and the emergence of a Janeite fan culture.
- Fun with the Janeites (paulrwaibel.com)
- “Austenland” Review (cwatlanta.cbslocal.com)
- Kelly Clarkson Loses Bid To Keep Jane Austen Ring (contactmusic.com)