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Pride And Prejudice: 200 years later - 01/27/2013

Who would have thought it? On that momentous day when Jane Austen received her published copy of P&P, she had no inkling that she was going to be one of the best known authors in the English language, ranked along with Shakespeare as an essential classic. On January 27th, JA received her own copy, fresh off the press, and was as delighted with it as any author who sees their work in print. ”I have got my own darling Child from London,” she famously wrote in a letter, and the thrill of publication is there.  Sadly, that was where the thrill ended. Firstly because she’d sold the novel for a one-off fee to her publisher, and therefore never received royalties for it. Secondly, because the novel was published anonymously. Now, knowing JA, she may well have had some sly pleasure in overhearing conversations about her novel from people who had no idea she was the author, but I would imagine there must have been many occasions when she wanted to shout out her name from the rooftops and let everyone know that she was the author. Still, eventually some people got to know who the mysterious author was. The Prince Regent himself had access to that information because his librarian, James Stainer Clarke, invited JA to Carlton House. In a gesture reminiscent of Mr. Collins himself, Clarke condescended to give JA his permission to dedicate her next novel ( Emma ) to the Prince Regent. But, back to that important moment in time when the book saw the light of day. It must hav...

Pride And Prejudice: 200 years later

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