"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."
Thus begins one of the most often quoted introductions to one of the most frequently assigned novels in British literature. During the Georgian era in the early 1800s, the ultimate goal of the parents of females was to find them suitable marriage partners of equal or superior social status with an income to keep them in the manner to which they were accustomed. Such goals naturally grew out of English inheritance laws of that time period, laws which modern society would find restrictive and prejudicial toward women.
In "Pride and Prejudice" Mr. and Mrs. Bennet are the proud parents of five daughters: Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty and Lydia. As these young women reach young adulthood, finding suitable mates for them becomes more important than ever because, should Mr. Bennet die, his home and income would be inherited by a distant male cousin rather than go to his wife or his children. As a result, their mother does everything in her power to get them married properly.
Her efforts are quadrupled, much to the embarrassment of her husband, when a wealthy bachelor, Mr. Bingley, arrives to live at a nearby mansion and brings with him his friend, Mr. Darcy.
Having been brought up by Mrs. Bennet, the girls have been conditioned to make her goal, as any other mother's goal, their own. A couple of the daughters, and one in particular, have minds of their own and indeed are precursors of more liberated females who will make their mark in future society.
The work is filled with humorous elements as well as subtle criticism of the time period and those values held by the social classes. Within the novel lie a number of love stories within the larger story.
As one of the most romantic love stories of its time, "Pride and Prejudice" brings listeners a captivating love story and enduring characters as typical of their time as any two lovers ever were.
Author Jane Austen lived from 1775 to 1817 in England. She was a novelist whose wrote about women, society and a woman's place in that society, poking fun at the foibles and weaknesses of human nature. She made heavy use of dramatic irony to maintain reader interest, resulting in words and commentary that are as entertaining to listen to now as they were then.
She wrote several other popular novels of the time, including "Mansfield Park," "Emma" and "Sense and Sensibility."
All of Austen's novels, including "Pride and Prejudice," are available in audiobook format for easy downloading here at Audio Bookstore.
Pride and Prejudice captures the affections of class-conscious eighteenth-century English families with matrimonial aims and rivalries. This story of the Bennet family and the novel’s two protagonists, Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, is told with a wit that author Jane Austen feared might prove “rather too light and bright, and sparkling.”
The romantic clash between the opinionated Elizabeth and her proud beau, Mr. Darcy, is a splendid performance of civilized sparring. Austen’s artistry is also apparent in the delineation of the minor characters: the ill-matched Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, Charles Bingley and his sisters, and particularly the fatuous Mr. Collins, whose proposal to Elizabeth is one of the finest comic passages in English literature.
Austen’s radiant wit sparkles as her characters dance a delicate quadrille of flirtation and intrigue, making this book the most superb comedy of manners of Regency England. Download and start listening now!