"He began to feel the danger of paying Elizabeth too much attention." Pride and Prejudice , one of the most famous love stories of all time, has also proven itself as a treasured mainstay of the English literary canon. With the arrival of eligible young men in their neighbourhood, the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet and their five daughters are turned inside out and upside down. Pride encounters prejudice, upward-mobility confronts social disdain, and quick-wittedness challenges sagacity. Misconceptions and hasty judgements bring heartache and scandal, but eventually lead to true understanding, self-knowledge, and love. It's almost impossible to open Pride and Prejudice without feeling the pressure of so many readers having known and loved this novel already. Will you fail the test - or will you love it too? As a story that celebrates more unflinchingly than any of Austen's other novels the happy meeting-of-true-minds, and one that has attracted the most fans over the centuries, Pride and Prejudice sets up an echo chamber of good feelings in which romantic love and the love of reading amplify each other.
Christina Lupton is Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Director of the Humanities Research Institute at the University of Warwick. She works on the theory of the book, very broadly defined, and the history of reading from the eighteenth century to the present. Her recent Reading and the Making of Time (JHUP, 2018) looks at reading as an activity that is both materially defined by the codex format, and politically tied up with the history of
work and leisure. She has held major Leverhulme and Humboldt Fellowships and writes and reviews regularly for publications including the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, Public Books, and n+1 on reading, book use, and the profession.
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