I think we underrate Austen’s wit and irony. However, it’s a good idea to read Pride and Prejudice twice (and perhaps her other novels too) to capture its full flavour, something PD James has done with great flair.
2013 marks the bicentenary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice, surely Jane Austen’s most famous novel. Over 20 million copies are thought to have been sold worldwide. Here at Interesting Literature we thought we’d look around for some interesting facts concerning this Austen classic.
The opening line of Pride and Prejudice is arguably the most famous opening line of any novel: ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.’ But what is less widely known is that the tone of this opening line is almost certainly ironic. Far from being Austen the detached, impartial narrator, this is actually Austen ventriloquising her characters’ thoughts – specifically, those of Mrs Bennet, whose views in the novel are often derided by Austen’s narrator. The clue is in the phrase ‘universally acknowledged’, since how many things in life…
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