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Pride and Prejudice [Norton Critical…

Pride and Prejudice [Norton Critical Edition] (1813)

by Jane Austen, Donald Gray (Editor)

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I reread this book for my Berkeley TA-ship, and I'm glad it's a creative writing course where I don't have to grade analytical essays on Austen. I do admire her prose--her dialogue is excellent--but I'm not a fan of P&P (and I hated Northanger Abbey). The marriage plot is barely tolerable, but I enjoyed the friendship of the elder Bennet sisters and Austen's delightful sentences more than I did when I read P&P in high school. Also, the extra material in this edition, like the interview with Colin Firth about playing Darcy in the BBC series, is interesting.
  Marjorie_Jensen | Nov 12, 2015 |
The Norton Critical Edition of Pride and Prejudice is divided into three parts:

1. The novel itself
2. Background and Sources (includes excerpts from various biographies, 17 letters that Austen wrote, and two excerpts from Austen's earlier writing)
3. Criticism (14 excerpts from important scholarly essays on P&P, two essays on "Darcy on film" and three essays on "Class and Money"

As I've read Pride and Prejudice several times already, this time I read only the third section, which was 118 pages long. For the most part the essays were interesting and enlightening, although most of them were very academic.

Recommended for: Austen scholars and readers who want to gain more understanding of P&P.

For fans of the 1995 BBC production, I highly recommend "A Conversation with Colin Firth" by Sue Birtwhistle and Susie Conklin (Sue Birtwhistle was the producer, Susie Conklin has written other historical productions and co-wrote The Making of Pride and Prejudice, where this piece was previously published.)

I recently read The Cambridge Companion to 'Pride and Prejudice', which is similar to the Criticism section in the Norton. I preferred the essays in the Cambridge. However, if you're looking for some criticism and a copy of the actual novel, you can't go wrong with this Norton edition. ( )
  Nickelini | Jan 30, 2015 |
There comes a time in every person’s life when s/he must own up to the dysfunctions within one’s own family ... and how those issues shape one’s own prejudices.
Elizabeth Bennett agonizes over the revelations in Mr. Darcy’s letter:

“She grew absolutely ashamed of herself. --Of neither Darcy nor Wickham could she think, without feeling that she had been blind, partial, prejudiced, absurd.
“‘How despicably have I acted!’ she cried. --”I, who have prided myself on my discernment! --I, who have valued myself on my abilities! who have often disdained the generous candour of my sister, and gratified my vanity, in useless or blameable distrust. --How humiliating is this discovery! --Yet, how just a humiliation! --Had I been in love, I could not have been more wretchedly blind. But vanity, not love has been my folly.... Till this moment, I never knew myself.’
“When she came to that part of the letter in which her family were mentioned, in terms of such mortifying, yet merited reproach, her sense of shame was severe. The justice of the charge struck her too forcibly for denial ....
“The compliment to herself and her sister [Jane], was not unfelt. It soothed, but it could not console her for the contempt which had been thus self-attracted by the rest of her family; --and as she considered that Jane’s disappointment had in fact been the work of her nearest relations, and reflected how materially the credit of both must be hurt by such impropriety of conduct, she felt depressed beyond any thing she had ever known before.” pp. 143-144
  Mary_Overton | Aug 10, 2013 |
This is the story of Elizabeth Bennet and her family, which includes her parents and her four sisters. Living in England in the early 1800′s, the focus of young women was on who they were to be compatible with and subsequently marry. In the story of this family, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet have no male heir to their estate. Subsequently, their home and wealth is slated to go to a cousin, Mr. Collins upon Mr. Bennet’s death. As such, it is seemingly more important to Mrs. Bennet than other mothers to marry off her five daughters as soon as possible to ensure that they are cared for in the event of Mr. Bennet’s passing. The story of Pride & Prejudice starts when a handsome and wealthy man, Mr. Bingley, comes to rent an estate not far from The Bennet Family’s. As he takes possession of this fine rental, the families in the surrounding area buzz with excitement and anticipation that this fine gentleman will choose one of their daughters as a bride. Mrs. Bennet is no exception. At a ball, Elizabeth’s older and beautiful sister, Jane, becomes the object of Mr. Bingley’s affections. It is also at this ball that Elizabeth (“Lizzy”) overhears a handsome stranger, Mr. Darcy, state that she is not “handsome” enough to be considered for a dance with him at the ball. Mr. Darcy is a very wealthy, handsome, and brooding stranger whom Lizzy will soon not be able to avoid. This story takes readers from the time of that ball until well over a year later(...). source: (http://anovelmenagerie.com/)
  MSzuflita | Apr 21, 2013 |
A book I reread every 5 years and get something new out of it everytime. LH ( )
  splinfo | Apr 19, 2013 |
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Jane Austenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gray, DonaldEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Do Not Combine: This is a "Norton Critical Edition", it is a unique work with significant added material, including essays and background materials. Do not combine with other editions of the work. Please maintain the phrase "Norton Critical Edition" in the Canonical Title and Publisher Series fields.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0393976041, Paperback)

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

Next to the exhortation at the beginning of Moby-Dick, "Call me Ishmael," the first sentence of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice must be among the most quoted in literature. And certainly what Melville did for whaling Austen does for marriage--tracing the intricacies (not to mention the economics) of 19th-century British mating rituals with a sure hand and an unblinking eye. As usual, Austen trains her sights on a country village and a few families--in this case, the Bennets, the Philips, and the Lucases. Into their midst comes Mr. Bingley, a single man of good fortune, and his friend, Mr. Darcy, who is even richer. Mrs. Bennet, who married above her station, sees their arrival as an opportunity to marry off at least one of her five daughters. Bingley is complaisant and easily charmed by the eldest Bennet girl, Jane; Darcy, however, is harder to please. Put off by Mrs. Bennet's vulgarity and the untoward behavior of the three younger daughters, he is unable to see the true worth of the older girls, Jane and Elizabeth. His excessive pride offends Lizzy, who is more than willing to believe the worst that other people have to say of him; when George Wickham, a soldier stationed in the village, does indeed have a discreditable tale to tell, his words fall on fertile ground.

Having set up the central misunderstanding of the novel, Austen then brings in her cast of fascinating secondary characters: Mr. Collins, the sycophantic clergyman who aspires to Lizzy's hand but settles for her best friend, Charlotte, instead; Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Mr. Darcy's insufferably snobbish aunt; and the Gardiners, Jane and Elizabeth's low-born but noble-hearted aunt and uncle. Some of Austen's best comedy comes from mixing and matching these representatives of different classes and economic strata, demonstrating the hypocrisy at the heart of so many social interactions. And though the novel is rife with romantic misunderstandings, rejected proposals, disastrous elopements, and a requisite happy ending for those who deserve one, Austen never gets so carried away with the romance that she loses sight of the hard economic realities of 19th-century matrimonial maneuvering. Good marriages for penniless girls such as the Bennets are hard to come by, and even Lizzy, who comes to sincerely value Mr. Darcy, remarks when asked when she first began to love him: "It has been coming on so gradually, that I hardly know when it began. But I believe I must date it from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberley." She may be joking, but there's more than a little truth to her sentiment, as well. Jane Austen considered Elizabeth Bennet "as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print". Readers of Pride and Prejudice would be hard-pressed to disagree. --Alix Wilber

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:58 -0400)

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"A perennial favorite in the Norton Critical Editions series, Pride and Prejudice is based on the 1813 first edition text, which has been thoroughly annotated for undergraduate readers." ""Backgrounds and Sources" includes biographical portraits of Austen by members of her family and by biographers Park Honan, Claire Tomalin, and David Nokes. Seventeen of Austen's letters - eight of them new to the Third Edition - allow readers to glimpse the close-knit society that was Austen's world, both in life and in literature. Samples of Austen's early writing - from the epistolary Love and Friendship and A Collection of Letters - allow readers to trace Austen's growth as a writer." ""Criticism" includes eighteen assessments of the novel by nineteenth- and twentieth-century commentators, six of them new to the Third Edition, among them remarks on the recent BBC television adaptation of the novel and on the tensions and accommodations of class in Austen's work.""Also included are A Note on Money, a Chronology of Austen's life and work, and an updated Selected bibliography."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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