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Thursday, 27 April 2017

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice was first written at Steventon Rectory when Jane Austen was 21-years-old and originally titled First Impressions. In 1797, her father sent the manuscript to the publisher Thomas Cadell. In response, Cadell scrawled “Declined by Return of Post” on the letter and sent it back with insulting speed.

Watercolour-and-pencil portrait of Jane Austen by her sister Cassandra

After the publisher's rejection the novel languished for 14 years.

Flush with the success of Sense and Sensibility, which was well on its way to selling out its first print run of 750 copies, Austen revised the manuscript in 1812.

The title change is thought to have happened because by the time Austen revised her manuscript there were two other works with the same  name out by Margaret Holford and Horace Smith respectively.

Austin sold the full rights to Pride and Prejudice to Thomas Egerton, the publisher of Sense and Sensibility for £110, having asked for £150.

Pride and Prejudice was published on January 28, 1813 when Austen was 37 years old.

Title page from the first edition of the first volume of Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen didn’t put her name on her novels. The title page of Pride and Prejudice said, “by the author of Sense and Sensibility.” It wasn’t until after Austen's death in 1817 that her brother revealed her name to the public.

Pride and Prejudice was advertised in the Morning Chronicle, priced at 18s. Favorable reviews saw this edition sold out, with a second edition published in November 1813.

In the first two editions alone published in 1814, Egerton profited £450. Since then, Pride and Prejudice has sold approximately 20 million copies.

Charlotte Brontë, in a letter to the critic George Henry Lewes, wrote that Pride and Prejudice was a disappointment, "a carefully fenced, highly cultivated garden, with neat borders and delicate flowers; but ... no open country, no fresh air, no blue hill, no bonny beck".

There have been at least 11 film and TV versions of the book. The six-episode 1995 BBC British television adaption of Pride and Prejudice was critically acclaimed and a popular success, Pride and Prejudice was honored with several awards, including an Emmy for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Costume Design for a Miniseries or a Special".

The role of Mr Darcy in the BBC series elevated Colin Firth to stardom. Although it's the role that made him famous, Colin Firth almost passed on playing Mr. Darcy—he knew very little about Pride and Prejudice.

Source Mental Floss

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