Top 10 Notes: Pride and Prejudice

Born December 16, 1775 in Hampshire, England, Jane Austen became known as one of English literature's most well-known authors for her fictional romance novels. Her most widely read and successful works were "Sense and Sensibility," "Pride and Prejudice," "Mansfield Park" and "Emma." Welcome to WatchMojo.com and in this installment of Mojo Noes, we’ll be exploring ten things you should know about Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.”
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This 19th century story of English society’s landed gentry remains one of the twenty-first century’s most loved books. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and in this installment of Mojo Noes, we’ll be exploring ten things you should know about Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.”

#10 – About the Author


Born in England in 1775, Jane Austen grew up as one of seven children. She received little formal education and was mostly home-schooled by her father and brothers. The many books she read inspired her to write her own material.

#9 – Influences and Inspiration


Like most women of the 18th century, Austen spent much of her time socializing, practicing music, sewing clothing and helping other females with chores; but she never gave up her interest in writing. Her parents were part of a British social class called the landed gentry, so their customs and traditions greatly influenced her writing. “Pride and Prejudice” was no exception.

#8 – Settings and Era


Set in England in the early 1800s, the world of “Pride and Prejudice” was very close to Austen’s own world. As landed gentry members, the novel’s characters realize their background, actions and education mean everything. Their wealth and social standing are other factors that also affect their relationships in society as well as the potential for marriage.

#7 – Plot


The novel follows the story of Elizabeth Bennet and her four unmarried sisters as they experience the many ups-and-downs of being courted by various eligible bachelors. Elizabeth’s prejudices initially keep her from falling for rich and single Mr. Darcy – however, his pride is also to blame. But the two protagonists are eventually able to see past that and find love – with each other.

#6 – The Female Protagonist: Elizabeth Bennet


As the second eldest daughter of a country gentleman and petite bourgeoise, Elizabeth Bennet is the novel’s main female character. The pretty 20-year-old’s voice allows us to discern her cleverness, and introduces us to the sense of humor she shares with her father. Though she’s been told that marriages are the key to happiness, this hasn’t stopped her from quickly judging others, as well as potential husbands. Fortunately, she learns to overcome her prejudices through her friendships and relationships with others, especially Mr. Darcy.

#5 – The Male Protagonist: Mr. Darcy


Not only is Fitzwilliam Darcy extremely wealthy, he’s also good-looking, smart and unmarried. However as with every human, the 28-year-old Darcy isn’t perfect: in fact, many see him as detached, self-important and antisocial. After becoming aware of how people view him, Mr. Darcy sets off to change his ways. Though he isn’ the best talker, he knows how to write. In this manner, the novel’s main male character shows he can be a true gentleman, a romantic hero and the right mate for Elizabeth.

#4 – Values and Themes


Though their world is one where money and status are vital, the characters also learn that their upbringing can affect their values and behavior. While Austen never explicitly criticizes Charlotte Lucas’ decision to marry for money, the author certainly has us rooting for her two main characters: by placing importance on love and self-knowledge, Elizabeth and Darcy’s marriage is destined to be a great and happy one.

#3 – Modern Popularity


While Austen may have started writing “Pride and Prejudice” in the late 1700s, the book is still one of the most popular works of English fiction today. After receiving good reviews upon its early 19th century publication, it has constantly been cited as one of history’s must-read books. With millions of copies sold and dozens of adaptations, it’s safe to say readers have formed a long-lasting attachment to Elizabeth Bennet’s story.

#2 – Literature Adaptations


Austen’s novel has served as the inspiration for multiple adaptations in the world of literature. Some authors have used the book’s characters to create their own stories, while there are also those that have imagined new people encountering Elizabeth, Darcy and company. Still others have put a modern spin on the tale, mashed different genres for the sake of parody or made graphic novels based on the work.

#1 – Film, TV and Theatrical Adaptations


One of the novel’s most notable stage productions was the 1935 Broadway play, which paved the way for the well-received 1940 film starring Oscar-winning Laurence Olivier. In 1995, the BBC produced an award-winning TV drama featuring Colin Firth. The actor later played a Darcy-inspired character in a successful movie re-imagining of the book. With Oscar-nominated Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet, younger audiences were once again captivated by “Pride and Prejudice” with the 2005 film.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite piece of “Pride and Prejudice” trivia? For more informative top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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