How the world is celebrating the bicentenary of Pride and Prejudice

Today marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen's most enduring novel. And the world is celebrating!

Perhaps most exciting is the BBC's reenactment of the Netherfield Ball.

That's right... the Regency ball in all its historic splendor will be held at Chawton House, Hampshire, the Elizabethan manor house which belonged to Austen's brother and which is now The Centre for the Study of Early English Women's Writing, 1600-1830. The resulting television special, Pride and Prejudice: Having A Ball at Easter, will air on BBC2 this spring.  

The blog Austenprose is hosting The Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge 2013 which encourages Austen devotees to read not only the original but also enjoy various prequels, sequels and motion picture versions. And there are fun Jane Austen-themed prizes!

Austen scholar Susannah Fullerton has published a thorough analysis of P&P and its enduring popularity in her Celebrating Pride and Prejudice: 200 Years of Jane Austen’s Masterpiece. Fullerton talks about her book on the excellent Jane Austen's World blog.

 Celebrating Pride and Prejudice: 200 Years of Jane Austen’s Masterpiece by Susannah Fullerton

Another book, The Real Jane Austen by Paula Byrne, examines how Austen's experiences, possessions and surroundings shaped the author. The volume analyses everything from a drawing of her childhood home to her notebooks, and belies the notion of Austen as an inexperienced spinster, instead showing her sophistication and worldliness. 

 The Real Jane Austen by Paula Byrne

While you're waiting for Amazon to deliver your books, take this challenging quiz  to test your knowledge of P&P and enjoy this brilliant cartoon synopsis of P&P drawn by brilliant writer and cartoonist Jen Sorensen.

Thank you Jane Austen for giving us Elizabeth Bennet!

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