During the decade when Napoleon was transforming Europe, Jane Austen wrote this novel in which the main events are that a man changes his manners and a young lady her mind.
Much has been said of the light and sparkling side of Pride and Prejudice — the delicious social comedy, the unerring dialogue, the satisfying love stories and its enchanting and spirited heroine. None the less, the novel is also about deeper issues in which Jane Austen demonstrates her belief that the truly civilized being maintains a proper balance between reason and energy. As Tony Tanner remarks in his stimulating introduction: ‘Since to stress one at the expense of the other can either way mean loss, both to self and society, the picture of achieved congruence between them offered in Pride and Prejudice is of unfading relevance. It is perhaps no wonder that it has also proved capable of giving eternal delight.’