Biography of author: Jane Austen was born in 1775 in England where she lived for the first 25 years of her life. She began to write while as a teen and finished Pride and Prejudice in 1796. The manuscript was first rejected and it wasn’t until 1809 that Austen made revision to it. During her life however, only her immediate family knew that she was an authoress. She never married and published six novels before her death. Title: Pride and Prejudice
Author: Jane Austen
Genre: Comedy of Manners
Historical information: From 1800 to 1815 the Napoleonic Wars took place between England and France and thus government censorship of literature proliferated so that Austen could not freely expose her identity as an authoress. The social atmosphere at the time was very stratified and class divisions were important as were family connections and wealth and it is for this reason that much of Pride and Prejudice is not so much based on love as it is on ridicule.
Characteristics of genre: The comedy of manners genre became famous in England in the Restoration period. The genre is typically set in the world of the upper class and ridicules the pretentions of those who consider themselves socially superior with satire. The genre comments on the standards and mores of society and explores the relationship of the sexes. Marriage is often a frequent subject of this genre. Plot summary (be DETAILED!) The novel begins with the news that a wealthy young man named Charles Bingley has rented the manor of Netherfield Park. This news causes great excitement in a nearby village of Longbourn and especially in the Bennet household. The Bennets have five daughters-- Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia—and Mrs. Bennet is eager to see them married. She forces Mr. Bennet to go and pay the Bingley’s a visit and after the visit is paid, the Bennets attend a ball, at which Mr. Bingley is present. Mr. Bingely is attracted to Jane and spends most of the evening dancing and talking to her. Mr. Darcy, who is good friend of Mr. Bingley, keeps to himself most of the evening and refuses to dance with Elizabeth. This angers Elizabeth who along with everyone else, views him as an arrogant man who is taken with pride. However, as the week goes by, Mr. Darcy begins to find himself increasingly amused with Elizabeth and finds himself attracted to her charm and intelligence. Jane’s friendship with Mr. Bingley blooms and soon she is invited to dine with him. Mrs. Bennet forces Jane to go on horseback and along the way she is caught in a down pour and caught cold. She is forced to stay with the Bingley’s for several days. Elizabeth becomes worried about her sister and walks three miles in muddy fields to attend her. She arrives much to the disdain of the snobbish Miss Bingley, in a muddied dress, and is very much looked down upon. Charles Bingley welcomes her and Miss Bingley is spiteful when she notices that Darcy, whom she likes, is paying more attention than normal towards Elizabeth. As Elizabeth attends to Jane she is continually exposed to the snobbish attitudes of Miss Bingley, her older sister, and the kind attitude of Mr. Bingley and the somewhat civil attitude of Mr. Darcy who is continually attracted to her. The entire Bennet family, minus Mr. Bennet, comes to visit Jane, and Elizabeth is embarrassed by the uncivil behavior of her poorly mannered mother. Soon Jane feels a lot better and she and Elizabeth take leave only to find that their cousin, who is entailed to their father’s estate, is coming for a visit. Mr. Collins is a fool but because he is also lookinh for a wife, he is enthralled by the Bennet girls. Throughout his stay, he continually talks about his patroness Lady Catherine and his fortunate abode and shortly after his arrival, he proposes to Elizabeth. She turns him down and this wounds his pride. However, Charlotte Lucas comes to visit her best friend Elizabeth and ends up keeping Mr. Collins...