Elizabeth Bennet, the second eldest of five daughters whom Mrs. Bennet is anxious to dispose of in marriage, is the most intelligent and delightful of all Jane Austen's heroines. Her vitality, vivacity and wit, her hasty dismissal of superior Mr. Darcy-- the most disagreeable man in the world'--how he improves his manners and she changes her mind, are the central ingredients of "Pride and Prejudice. It is Jane Austen's best-loved novel and through the depth and sparkle of its comedy we are encouraged to consider what balance of energy and order, playfulness and regulation constitutes real strength of character.
Jane Austen was probably the single most unlikely literary figure in the history of the English language. She lived a life so quiet that she made barely a ripple on the surface of the world--until she put pen to paper. The six finished novels that she wrote--Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Persuasion, and Northanger Abbey--are still wildly popular nearly two hundred years after her death. Considered by critics to be some of the finest work produced by any writer anywhere, the books have been printed in countless editions worldwide, translated into twenty-nine languages, converted into plays and films. Jane Austen's home has become a museum that attracts hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from all over the world.