Author(s): Jane Austen
The most famous of Jane Austen's novels, and its opening is one of the most famous lines in English literature -- "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife". Its manuscript was initially called First Impressions, but was never published under that title. Pride and Prejudice is an 1813 romantic novel by Jane Austen. It charts the emotional development of protagonist Elizabeth Bennet, who learns the error of making hasty judgments and comes to appreciate the difference between the superficial and the essential. The comedy of the writing lies in the depiction of manners, education, marriage, and money during the British Regency period.Mr. Bennet of the Longbourn estate has five daughters, but his property is entailed, meaning that none of the girls can inherit it. His wife has no fortune, so it is imperative that at least one of the girls marry well in order to support the others upon his death. The novel revolves around the importance of marrying for love, not simply for money, despite the social pressures to make a good (i.e., wealthy) match.Pride and Prejudice has long fascinated readers, consistently appearing near the top of lists of "most-loved books" among both literary scholars and the general public. It has become one of the most popular novels in English literature, with over 20 million copies sold, and paved the way for many archetypes that abound in modern literature. For more than a century, amateur and professional dramatic adaptations, print continuations and sequels, and film and TV versions of Pride and Prejudice have reimagined the original novel's memorable characters and themes to reach mass audiences. The 2005 film, Pride & Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen is the most recent Hollywood adaptation of the book.