Jane Austen's classic novel Pride and Prejudice, the tale of manners and marriage in early 19th century England, celebrates its 200th birthday. Rollo Ross reports
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The classic novel Pride and Prejudice, the tale of manners and marriage in early 19th century England, is celebrating its 200th birthday on Monday (January 28). Written by Jane Austen, who called it her darling child, the work remains one of the most loved books in existence.
RICHARD MOLLET, CEO PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION: "She writes engagingly about characters which I think the modern audience can enjoy as much as the audience in her time. And I suppose her work has, like all great writers, just a resonance and we can see in characters like the Bennets and like the Dashwoods, we can imagine their equivalents in the modern day and that's what makes them so engaging."
HELEN CONFORD, PUBLISHER PENGUIN: "She sells incredibly well. If you look at her inside Penguin Classics with George Orwell, Shakespeare, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Charles Dickens, she's really number one."
While the book continues to be republished year on year, there also seem to be no end of adaptations. Who could forget the classic BBC series with Colin Firth as a dashing Mr Darcy, or the more recent big screen outing with Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet? Among the more bizarre spin-offs are the Bollywood inspired Bride and Prejudice, and later this year quirky comedy Austenland will be released.
It's from the cult director of Napoleon Dynamite and produced by Twilight writer Stephanie Meyer, and follows an American girl who gives up her mundane existence to live as Elizabeth Bennett in a Jane Austen-styled resort.