most famous novels by Jane Austen, one of the greatest
novelists in the world of literature, are Pride and Prejudice,
Sense and Sensibility, Northanger
Abbey, Mansfield Park, Emma, and Persuasion.
and Prejudice has always been my favorite. The most
predominant theme in Pride and prejudice is love and
matrimony. The opening lines of Pride and Prejudice are most
famous, and strike the keynote of the novel: "It
is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in
possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."
lines are spoken by Mrs. Bennet
to her husband Mr. Bennet.
desires to find suitable husbands for her five daughters. The
popularity of the novel is substantiated by the fact that it
has sold about 20 million copies across the globe.
It is not possible to agree with Charlotte Bronte’s violent
criticism of the novel: “I haven’t any right to criticize
books, and I don’t do it except when I hate them. I often
want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that
I can’t conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I
have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read Pride and
Prejudice I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull
with her own shin bone!” What a great error of perspective!
The most wonderful thing in her novels is that she deals
human beings of ordinary life with gentle irony and satire
without inflicting any wound. This makes her fiction quite
different from that of historical novelist Walter Scott. Scott
rightly confessed: “ The big things I can do myself like
anyone going, but the exquisite touch which renders
commonplace things and characters interesting from the truth
of description and the sentiment is denied me.”
Macaulay described Jane Austen the novelist to
"have approached nearest to the manner of the great
master" Shakespeare. Perhaps only the Bible can match the
popularity of Pride and Prejudice. "Of all great
writers," Virginia Woolf remarked "she is the
most difficult to catch in the act of greatness."
Santosh Kumar, Editor, Cyberwit.net