Jane Austen (1775-1817) - Archive: Lilly Library, Indiana University; Original publication: Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. London: T. Egerton, 1813.
Pride and Prejudice is considered amongst the best written books in the world. It came second in a poll for the UK's Best-Loved Book behind only The Lord of the Rings. It's been made into a mini series, more than one movie, and a musical. Not to mention there are dozens of spin off stories, including one in which the heroine is a kick-ass zombie fighter.
The question is though, into what genre does such a well loved book fall? Romance is a genre that is usually spurned by literary critics; many people will not even admit that they read them. And certainly there is far more to Pride and Prejudice than a love story. Austen's witty social commentary is, I believe, what made it possible for the work to become a classic.
Have you read Pride and Prejudice? Would you define it as a romance novel? If not, why not?