CHAPTER 1 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." "What is his name?" "Bingley." "Is he married or single?" "Oh! single, my dear, to be sure! A single man of large fortune; four or five thousand a year. What a fine thing for our girls!" "How so? How can it affect them?" "My dear Mr. Bennet," replied his wife, "how can you be so tiresome! You must know that I am thinking of his marrying one of them." "Is that his design in settling here?" "Design! nonsense, how can you talk so! But it is very likely that he may fall in love with one of them, and therefore you must visit him as soon as he comes." "I see no occasion for that. You and the girls may go, or you may send them by themselves, which perhaps will be still better, for as you are as handsome as any of them, Mr. Bingley might like you the best of the party." "My dear, you flatter me. I certainly have had my share of beauty, but I do not pretend to be anything extraordinary now. When a woman has five grown-up daughters, she ought to give over thinking of her own beauty." "In such cases, a woman has not often much beauty to think of." "But, my dear, you must indeed go and see Mr. Bingley when he comes into the neighbourhood." "It is more than I engage for, I assure you." "But consider your daughters. Only think what an establishment it would be for one of them. Sir William and Lady Lucas are determined to go, merely on that account, for in general you know they visit no newcomers. Indeed you must go, for it will be impossible for us to visit him if you do not." "You are over scrupulous surely. I dare say Mr. Bingley will be very glad to see you; and I will send a few lines by you to assure him of my hearty consent to his marrying whichever he chooses of the girls; though I must throw in a good word for my little Lizzy." "I desire you will do no such thing. Lizzy is not a bit better than the others; and I am sure she is not half so handsome as Jane, nor half so good-humoured as Lydia. But you are always giving her the preference." "They have none of them much to recommend them," replied he; "they are all silly and ignorant like other girls; but Lizzy has something more of quickness than her sisters." "Mr. Bennet, how can you abuse your own children in such a way? You take delight in vexing me. You have no compassion on my poor nerves." "You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these twenty years at least." "Ah! you do not know what I suffer." "But I hope you will get over it, and live to see many young men of four thousand a year come into the neighbourhood." "It will be no use to us if twenty such should come since you will not visit them." "Depend upon it, my dear, that when there are twenty, I will visit them all." Mr. Bennet was so odd a mixture of quick parts, sarcastic humour, reserve, and caprice, that the experience of three and twenty years had been insufficient to make his wife understand his character. Her mind was less difficult to develop. She was a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper. When she was discontented she fancied herself nervous. The business of her life was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and news. Excerpted from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.
Library Journal Review
|Early in Pride and Prejudice, Austen writes, "the very shoe-roses for Netherfield were got by proxy." Today's readers may wonder what a shoe rose is. Prominent literary editor Spacks (English, emerita, Univ. of Virginia; Boredom: The Literary History of a State of Mind) supplies the explanation, along with scores of other brief notes defining the terms of Austen's era. She offers more substantial discussions of various references as well as explanations for such components as a young Regency woman entering into society. She also provides an extremely useful introduction, detailing Austen's life and noting (along with her "further reading" section) the ongoing scholarly attention. Readers will also appreciate Spacks's well-placed references to the interpretations of other scholars, such as Tony Tanner and Linda Colley. -VERDICT The value of this edition, as Spacks maintains, is that "annotation helps to locate Austen in history, in literature, in language." Pride and Prejudice has been annotated before-David M. Shapard's 2003 edition-but Spacks's approach is more literary than his historical focus. Readers will appreciate the placement of Spacks's annotations along the wide margin of the page they relate to, as well as the many color illustrations. A valuable addition for any Austen student, scholar, or fan.-Kathryn R. Bartelt, Univ. of Evansville Libs., IN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.|
Publishers Weekly Review
|Collagist Fabe adds flair to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice with 39 original illustrations that accompany the unabridged text. Fabe's collages overlay bright, watercolor-washed scenes with retro cut-paper figures and objects sampled from fashion magazines from the 1930s to the '50s. Accompanying each tableau is a quote from the Pride and Prejudice passage that inspired it. Like Austen's book, Fabe's work explores arcane customs of beauty and courtship, pageantry and social artifice: in one collage, a housewife holds a tray of drinks while a man sits happily with a sandwich in hand in the distance. While tinged with irony and more than a dash of social commentary, the collages nevertheless have a spirit of glee and evidence deep reverence for the novel. As Fabe describes in a preface, Austen "was a little bit mean-the way real people are mean-so there are both heroes and nincompoops. Family is both beloved and annoying. That is Austen's genius, her ability to describe people in all their frailty and humor." This is a sweet and visually appealing homage. (BookLife) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.|
School Library Journal Review
|Gr 8 Up-Set in a time in which women were at the mercy of the arrangements made for them by their families, this story of the romantic courtship of Darcy and Elizabeth will resonate with readers. Though this adaptation conveys the language of the time and the story is true to form, the artwork lacks a certain appeal. There are some instances where characters are indiscernible and lack definition. However, the flow of the story is easy to follow, making it a good resource for students who find Austen difficult to decipher. Pairing this version with Nancy Butler's Pride & Prejudice (Marvel, 2009) would make a great lesson on comparing and contrasting revisions and adaptations. Students interested in Austen may read this title of their own accord, but others will need to be led to it.-Mariela Siegert, Westfield Middle School, Bloomingdale, IL (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.|