(The Complete Works of Jane Austen by Jane Austen, 9789380914794)
• Explanations of historical context
Rules of etiquette, class differences, the position of women, legal and economic realities, leisure activities, and more.
• Citations from Austen’s life, letters, and other writings
Parallels between the novel and Austen’s experience are revealed, along with writings that illuminate her beliefs and opinions.
• Definitions and clarifications
Archaic words, words still in use whose meanings have changed, and obscure passages are explained.
• Literary comments and analyses
Insightful notes highlight Austen’s artistry and point out the subtle ways she develops her characters and themes.
• Maps and illustrations
of places and objects mentioned in the novel.
• An introduction, a bibliography, and a detailed chronology of events
Of course, one can enjoy the novel without knowing the precise definition of a gentleman, or what it signifies that a character drives a coach rather than a hack chaise, or the rules governing social interaction at a ball, but readers of The Annotated Pride and Prejudice will find that these kinds of details add immeasurably to understanding and enjoying the intricate psychological interplay of Austen’s immortal characters.
When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited; he is indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.
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