Pride & Prejudice is 200 years old TODAY!

Today is a special day in the world of Austen lovers: It is the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s “darling child” Pride and Prejudice

Bloggers all over the web are sharing their love for Pride and Prejudice today. Indeed it is a BIG event! Lots of fun & lots of giveaways! I am going to share my thoughts and other fun bits in a moment, but let’s begin with a short history lesson. According to Wikipedia (and cross-referenced at several other places for accuracy) here are the facts–

Austen began writing the novel after staying at Goodnestone Park in Kent with her brother Edward and his wife in 1796. The novel was originally titled First Impressions, and was written between October 1796 and August 1797. On 1 November 1797 Austen’s father sent a letter to London bookseller Thomas Cadell to ask if he had any interest in seeing the manuscript, but the offer was declined by return of post.

Austen made significant revisions to the manuscript for First Impressions between 1811 and 1812. She later renamed the story Pride and Prejudice, possibly to avoid confusion with other works. In the years between the completion of First Impressions and its revision into Pride and Prejudice, two other works had been published with the original name: a novel by Margaret Holford and a comedy by Horace Smith.

Austen sold the copyright for the novel to Thomas Egerton of Whitehall in exchange for £110 (Austen had asked for £150). This proved a costly decision. Austen had published Sense and Sensibility on a commission basis, whereby she indemnified the publisher against any losses and received any profits, less costs and the publisher’s commission. Unaware that Sense and Sensibility would sell out its edition, making her £140, she passed the copyright to Egerton for a one-off payment, meaning that all the risk (and all the profits) would be his. Jan Fergus has calculated that Egerton subsequently made around £450 from just the first two editions of the book.

Egerton published the first edition of Pride and Prejudice in three hardcover volumes in January 1813, priced at 18 shillings. Favourable reviews saw this edition sold out, with a second edition published in November that year. A third edition was published in 1817. It was translated into French in 1813.

For more information on Jane Austen, read the Biography I wrote and posted in The Library at Pemberley.

 

My story, in a nutshell~~

My appreciation for Pride and Prejudice, and then Jane Austen, came later in my life and was not originally inspired by the novel. My first initiation into the world inhabited by Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet was the 2005 movie adaptation by Joe Wright, starring Matthew Macfadyen and Keira Knightley. I anxiously walked into the movie theater over Thanksgiving weekend in 2005 not because I was enthused about an Austen adaptation, but simply because I adore period movies and love romantic stories. I was excited about the movie, true, yet did not anticipate it being a turning point in my life.

Everything about the movie knocked my socks off – the acting, cinematography, music, story, all of it! I thought it was FABULOUS! An obsession to learn more about the movie creators immediately drove me to the internet. Fortuitously, my daughter returned to school after the holiday break and began reading Pride and Prejudice for her AP Literature class. What a boon! I bought a copy, and together we read the novel and conducted her class studies together.

From there it was one snowballing step after another, the story of my immersion into writing and Austen told in greater depth on the About Sharon and in the FAQ section in The Library at Pemberley.  For me, love of Austen and this novel go hand-in-hand with love for the movie. I no longer apologize for this. One does not have to be mutually exclusive from the other, which is why my novels blend the visuals and altered interpretations from the movie with the story as written by Jane Austen. I love and revere both!

 

In my Portrait Gallery I have image albums for each of my novels, Regency, Georgian, and Indian fashion, and also an album of stills from the 2005 movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. On top of that I have a wonderful collection of publicity photos and film shots of Matthew Macfadyen! Check it out: Sharon Lathan’s Portrait Gallery

Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice have withstood the passage of time and are stronger than ever. What other author has persevered for as long, amassing an ever-increasing number of fans and spawning a plethora of cinema adaptations, fan-fiction novels, merchandise, websites, scholarly societies, a whole romance genre, and so much more? I can’t think of a one!

 

 

Lots of Austenesque bloggers are celebrating this week.

To add to the fun, I am including one copy of my debut novel, Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One, an eBook version (Kindle or Nook), to one lucky person! Just comment on this post, telling me when you first read Pride & Prejudice and who your favorite character is. Deadline for this giveaway is January 31, 2013, but of course my ongoing weekly giveaway for an ARC of The Passions of Dr. Darcy won’t end until March!

 

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Sharon Lathan

Sharon Lathan is the best-selling author of The Darcy Saga, a ten-volume sequel series to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.

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MaryAnn Nagy

I read Pride and Prejudice 63 years ago and loved it. I started reading Pride and Prejudice variations when I heard about them one year ago this past April and since then I have read approximately 150 of them in book form and haven’t the nerve to get rid of them. I loved Jane Austen’s work since I was 13 and continue enjoying the variations now.
Thank you Jane for making my life so much better and I celebrate your works through the variation authors.

Clair Humphries

It’s great to see P&P fans coming together to celebrate. Thanks for this!

Denise Duvall

Thank you Jane for your timeless contribution to world literature! Mr. Darcy is a sweetheart.

Chelsea K.

Thanks for sharing & Happy 200th P&P Anniversary!

Chelsea K.

I first read P&P in 2008 and my favorite characters are Mr. Bennet, Mr. Darcy, & Elizabeth Bennet.

Ashley Richardson

I picked up Pride and Prejudice for the first time when I was 16. I felt like I could relate to Elizabeth as she was independent, strong willed and passionate. Now I have spent time devouring the books, movies and plays all related to Jane Austen and my favorite story of all time, Pride & Prejudice.

Lauren

I first read p&p as a kids version when I was about 10 or so and fell in love! I read the real version not long after… And it has been my favorite book ever since! I just struck a chord with me and is the one book I can read over and over again! Not to be cliche, but my favorite character is Lizzie :o) she is a heroine that has her faults and yet that simply makes her more relatable!

On another note, I love all of your books and would LOVE to have Mr and Mrs Fitzwilliam Darcy in ebook form!

Kathy

I first read P&P in high school (over 30 years ago) and picked it out of curiosity. I remember liking it, but at the time it took a while to get used to the rhythm and tone of the writing/language. I am now surprised it never showed up as required reading in any of my high school or college classes but I did re-read the book every few years. I do remember seeing parts of the film version starring Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson on TV when I was young, but that didn’t really grab me (the two actors don’t really seem to me to fit the way I think about the characters – but I haven’t seen it in a long time, maybe it’s better than I recall!). In the last several years after I discovered the many fan fiction sites, I’m really enjoying the whole Austen Authors universe so thank you for your writing!

My favorite character aside from Lizzy/Darcy is Col. Fitzwilliam. He’s obviously loyal, capable, and funny. Who wouldn’t want to hang out with him?

Lieder Madchen

I despised Pride and Prejudice with a passion until I was about 12 years old, at which time my mom put on the BBC miniseries and I just sort of got stuck in front of it. I still don’t really know why, but from that moment on I became a raving Jane Austen fanatic. I read Pride and Prejudice for the first time just a few days later; it was one of the very first books I ever went out and bought for myself. I’ve read it more times than I can count since.

Vee

Happy 200th birthday Pride and Prejudice! First read in High School 1980. I admit that I had never read English Lit before this book and found it very difficult to understand fully. Step in 1980 P&P adaptation starring David Rintoul and Elizabeth Garvie. I was in love, with Darcy with Lizzy with P&P.
I reread the novel immmediately with a new understanding and devouring every word.
So here I am 33 years later as much in love with Pride and Prejudice as ever. And also love the fact that it has introduced me to Sharon and all of her brilliant books (my fav sequel to P&P by far!) and all the other talented authors that write variations about my fav story. Its all so much fun!

Jennifer Zorko-Legan

I first read Pride and Prejudice in High School. I fell in love with Elizabeth Bennet and reconnected with her on so many levels. Over the years I have read the story over and over and over again. I still have the first copy of the book from High School and I still love the story today as much as I did over 20 years ago.

Veronica

I think it’s wonderful how you share so many of your favorite P&P related things. I’m looking forward to reading The Passions of Dr. Darcy, and have to say that it has one of the most attractive covers ever! If I don’t win, it will be making its way into my library. That’s just a fact.

Sophia Rose

I first read it as an eight year old in a read aloud with my mother who bought our copy for my birthday. My favorite character is Colonel Fitzwilliam.

Please don’t enter me for your Darcy book. I have it and the rest that follow- love them!

Heather M

I first read P&P in 2005, because my husband wanted to see the movie and I wanted to read it first. Now, if he ever complains about my Austen fixation I can just tell him that it’s really all his fault. And of course Mr. Darcy is my favorite character!

Happy 200th birthday P&P! Here’s to 200 more!

Dawn Haslett

I first read Pride and Prejudice the summer of 2002. I had always loved the movie adaptations, but was amazed with the book. Jane’s brilliant wit made me laugh out loud! Her brilliant observations of people were right on the mark and the fact that she had the strength to write them was remarkable.

Jen

I first read P&P in high school (like so many others), but fell in love with the continuations and re-tellings two summers ago. Since then, I have used them in my college classroom to teach leadership!

Marie Burton

I finally first read P&P in the summer of 2009. I was surprised at how well she could turn a phrase, and how witty it was. The fact that her writing is still something treasured, two hundred years later, is a testament to her skill. I loved Darcy’s character, of course, and was eager to see Lizzy and he connect finally. A few years later, I can now appreciate some of the supporting characters more, like Lady Catherine. I despised her then!

Here is my 200th Anniversary Post, come visit!

Erlynn

I can’t wait! It feels like we have been patiently waiting for so long. 🙂

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