Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen (1775-1817) - Archive: Lilly Library, Indiana University; Original publication: Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. London: T. Egerton, 1813.
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?
I have to say, I think romance is a huge part of the story, but does that make it only
a romance novel? I don't think so.
The social and economic commentary is witty, and ironic. Unlike currently, at the time Austen was writing, marriage for a gentlewoman was akin to their career. They could earn money no other way.
So really, it depends how broad your romance definition is!