Complete Series Synopsis
Elizabeth Bennet is a country gentleman's daughter in 19th Century England. She is one of five daughters, a plight that her father bears as best he can with common sense and a general disinterest in the silliness of his daughters. Elizabeth is his favourite because of her level-headed approach to life when his own wife's greatest concern is getting her daughters married off to well-established gentlemen. Only Jane, Elizabeth's older sister, is nearly as sensible and practical as Elizabeth, but Jane is also the beauty of the family, and therefore, Mrs. Bennet's highest hope for a good match.
When Mr. Bingley, a young gentleman of London, takes a country estate near to the Bennet's home, Mrs. Bennet begins her match-making schemes without any trace of subtlety or dignity. Despite Mrs. Bennet's embarrassing interference, Mr. Bingley and Jane become fond of one another. Mr. Darcy, who has accompanied Bingley to the country, begins his acquaintance with Elizabeth, her family, and their neighbours with smug condescension and proud distaste for the all of the country people. Elizabeth, learning of his dislike, makes it a point to match his disgust with her own venom. She also hears from a soldier that she has a fondness for that Darcy has misused the man. Without thinking through the story, Elizabeth immediately seizes upon it as another, more concrete reason to hate Mr. Darcy. She contradicts and argues with Darcy each time they meet, but somewhere along the way he begins to like Elizabeth.
When Bingley leaves the countryside suddenly and makes no attempts to contact Jane anymore, the young woman is heartbroken. Elizabeth, who had thought well of Bingley, believes that there is something amiss in the way that he left Jane in the lurch. Only when Elizabeth goes to visit her friend at the estate of Darcy's aunt does the mystery begin to unfold. After several encounters with Mr. Darcy while visiting her friend, Elizabeth is shocked when Darcy proposes to her. Elizabeth refuses him and questions him about the way that he misused her soldier friend and his undoubted role in the way that Bingley abandoned Jane. Darcy writes a letter to explain himself, and Elizabeth is embarrassed to learn that she had been mislead about Darcy's character. Had she known the truth, she would have loved Darcy as he loved her. Darcy leaves that part of the country before she can sort out her feelings and make amends with him. Then she meets him again when she is touring the gardens of his estate with her aunt and uncle. Darcy treats her with kindness and she believes he may still love her, but before anything can be done about it, she learns that one of her younger sisters has shacked up with the very soldier who mislead Elizabeth and the rest of her family about Mr. Darcy. Elizabeth returns home immediately.
When the indignity of her sister's shot-gun wedding is straightened out, Elizabeth is surprised that Darcy returns to the country with Bingley. She expected that the shame of her sister's actions had ruined any chances of a relationship with Mr. Darcy, or Jane and Bingley. Elizabeth learns from her aunt that Darcy did a great part to help get her younger sister properly married to the infamous soldier. Jane and Bingley sort out the misunderstanding that drove him away before and get engaged. Then Elizabeth and Darcy work out their misunderstandings and agree to marry.
TAGS: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, Elizabeth Bennet, Mrs. Bennet, Mr. Bennet, Mr. Bingley, Lydia Bennet/Wickham, Mr. Darcy, Jane Bennet, Mr. Collins, Wickham, Mrs. Gardiner, Mr. Gardiner, Miss Bingley, Mrs. Hurst, Charlotte Lucas/Collins, Mary Bennet, Sir William Lucas, Kitty (Catherine) Bennet,Lady Catherine De Bourgh, Miss Darcy, Maria Lucas, Miss De Bourgh, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Longbourn, Netherfield, Meryton, Rosings, Pemberley, Hertfordshire, Hunsford, Brighton, Derbyshire, England
Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice has long stood among the most beloved novels of all time. The story of Elizabeth Bennet's blossoming romance with "haughty, reserved, and fastidious" Fitzwilliam Darcy has enchanted readers for nearly two centuries. Yet, Mr. Darcy has always remained an intriguing enigma—his thoughts, feelings, and motivations hidden behind a cold, impenetrable exterior . . . until now.
With the utmost respect for Austen's original masterwork, author Janet Aylmer loving retells Pride and Prejudice from a bold new perspective: seeing events as they transpire through the eyes of Darcy himself. One of world's great love stories takes on breathtaking new life, and one of fiction's greatest romantic heroes becomes even more sympathetic, compelling, attractive, and accessible, all through the imagination and artistry of a truly gifted storyteller.
Now in Penguin Classics Deluxe: a treasure trove of Jane Austen's novels
Few novelists have conveyed the subtleties and nuances of their own social milieu with the wit and insight of Jane Austen. Here in one volume are her seven great novels: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, and Lady Susan. Through her vivacious and spirited heroines and their circle, Austen vividly portrays English middle-class life as the eighteenth century came to a close and the nineteenth century began. Each of the novels is a love story and a story about marriage—marriage for love, for financial security, for social status. But they are not romances; ironic, comic, and wise, they are masterly evocations of the society Jane Austen observed. This beautiful volume covers the literary career of one of England’s finest prose stylists of any century.
A Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition with French flaps and luxurious packaging
Features the definitive Penguin Classics texts recommended by the Jane Austen Society
New introduction by bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club Karen Joy Fowler
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Anne Elliot, daughter of the snobbish, spendthrift Sir Walter Elliot, is a woman of quiet charm and deep feelings. When she was nineteen, she fell in love with–and was engaged to–a naval officer, the fearless and headstrong Captain Wentworth. But the young man had no fortune, and Anne allowed herself to be persuaded, against her profoundest instinct, to give him up.Now, at twenty-seven, and believing that she has lost her bloom, Anne is startled to learn that Captain Wentworth has returned to the neighborhood, a rich man and still unwed. Her never-diminished love is muffled by her pride. He seems cold and unforgiving. Even worse, he appears to be infatuated by the flighty and pretty Louisa Musgrove.
What happens as Anne and Wentworth are thrown together in the social world of Bath–and as an eager new suitor appears for Anne–is touchingly and wittily told in a masterpiece that is also one of the most entrancing novels in the English language.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
From the Hardcover edition.
At the center of the novel is Anne's thwarted romance with Captain Frederick Wentworth, a navy man Anne met and fell in love with when she was 19. At the time, Wentworth was deemed an unsuitable match and Anne was forced to break off the relationship. Eight years later, however, they meet again. By this time Captain Wentworth has made his fortune in the navy and is an attractive "catch." However, Anne is now uncertain about his feelings for her. But after various twists and turns of fortune, the novel ends on a happy note.
In Persuasion, as in such novels as Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Emma, Austen limned the plight of young women who could escape the constraints of family life only by marrying, and suggest the foolishness of women who believed they were free and not dependent on the financial and social resources of men. At the same time, Persuasion offers an ironic and subtle paean to the true love that enables one woman to rise above straitened economic circumstances and the stifling social conventions that restricted women to narrowly circumscribed lives in the common sitting room.
Sure to appeal to admirers of Jane Austen, Persuasion will delight any reader with its finely drawn characters, gentle satire, and charming re-creation of the genteel world of the 19th-century English countryside.
Called a 'perfect novel' by Harold Bloom, Persuasion was written while Jane Austen was in failing health. She died soon after its completion, and it was published in an edition with Northanger Abbey in 1818.
In the novel, Anne Elliot, the heroine Austen called 'almost too good for me,' has let herself be persuaded not to marry Frederick Wentworth, a fine and attractive man without means. Eight years later, Captain Wentworth returns from the Napoleonic Wars with a triumphant naval career behind him, a substantial fortune to his name, and an eagerness to wed. Austen explores the complexities of human relationships as they change over time. 'She is a prose Shakespeare,' Thomas Macaulay wrote of Austen in 1842. 'She has given us a multitude of characters, all, in a certain sense, commonplace. Yet they are all as perfectly discriminated from each other as if they were the most eccentric of human beings.'
Persuasion is the last work of one of the greatest of novelists, the end of a quiet career pursued in anonymity in rural England that produced novels which continue to give pleasure to millions of readers throughout the world.
The Vintage Classics Austen series is designed by the writer and illustrator Leanne Shapton and introduced by some of our finest contemporary writers and Austen fans: Alexander McCall Smith, Lynne Truss, Amanda Vickery, Francesca Segal, P.D. James and Andrew Motion.
'It is a sort of private novel. In the heroine Anne Elliot, we have glimpses of Austen and what happened to her; the lost romance and the lost youth' Julian Fellowes
Eight years ago Anne Elliot bowed to pressure from her family and made the decision not to marry the man she loved, Captain Wentworth. Now circumstances have conspired to bring him back into her social circle and Anne finds her old feelings for him reignited. However, when they meet again Wentworth behaves as if they are strangers and seems more interested in her friend Louisa. In this, her final novel, Jane Austen tells the story of a love that endures the tests of time and society with humour, insight and tenderness.