Author(s): Jane Austen
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen's classic novel of manners and mores in early nineteenth century England. As the Bennets prepare their five grown daughters to enter into society, each shows personality traits that illuminate their future prospects as wives. Jane, the oldest, is the most demure and traditional, and Lydia, the youngest, the most headstrong and impulsive. Attention centers on haughty second-born Elizabeth, and her blossoming relationship with the dashing but aloof Fitzwilliam Darcy. Adversaries at first in the endless rounds of balls, parties, and social gatherings, they soon develop a grudging respect for one another that blossoms into romance when each comes to appreciate the tender feelings that course beneath the veneer of their propriety and reserve.