Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

Prompts and Essay Topics for the book

Thesis statements for your P&P essays. 

Notes on Your Pride and Prejudice Essays

Slant lines mean to italicize whatever is between the slants. /Pride and Prejudice/ means to italicize those words.

Spell the names correctly. You have the book right in front of your faces; use it.

Jane Austen is spelled with an "e"--it's AUSTEN, not Austin.  

Elizabeth is spelled with a "z" not an "s"--it's ELIZABETH, not Elisabeth.

The is general confusion about the terms “rank” and “status.”

The first time Darcy appears in the book with Bingley, they are at the MERYTON ASSEMBLY, which is a public dance. Elizabeth and Darcy, however, do not dance together until the Netherfield Ball, which is a private dance at Bingley's rented home some weeks later.

 When you are writing an essay of this nature, be consistent with the terms you use. If you call Elizabeth "Lizzy" in the first paragraph, do so in the rest of the essay. Don't switch back and forth between different names and nicknames, unless the text you are quoting does so.

This is what the book should look like on your MLA Works Cited page, unless you're using a different edition. Then, you should cite that book correctly.

Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. 1813. Eds. Claudia L. Johnson and Susan J. Wolfson. 
            New York: Longman, 2003. Print.

Jane Austen Packet, pdf including study questions, family trees and backgrond info
Glossary of Terms, pdf
List of all the characters in P&P

Map of the classes of British Society 1814

Study Guide from Penguin
Study Guide from Glencoe

Cultural Context of Jane Austen's Writings

To understand and enjoy Pride and Prejudice, it's helpful to have a general understanding of the following topics. To learn more about these topics, explore the links farther down the page.

The socio-economic hierarchy. 
What’s going on in the world?
Tension between old and new money.
Inheritance and property: primogenitor and the entail.
Lack of young men/excess of marriageable women.
Marriage: dowry, love, money, appropriate ages, etc.
The rules of interaction between men and women and the social classes. Forms of address.
Options for women’s work.
Importance of events like dances and dinners.

Introductory Notes

Helpful Jane Austen & Regency Era Information

Jane Austen lived and wrote during a period of time in England generally called the Regency Era. She was born on December 16, 1975 in Steventon, Hampshire, and died at the age of 41. She published some novels while she was alive, but made little money from her writing. Her other completed novels were published after her death. There are pieces of unfinished work, things she wrote as a youth and a small collection of letters that are all part of the Jane Austen collection today. Many scholars make their professional work researching and writing about Jane Austen and her marvelous texts.

For all things Jane Austen online, visit:

Other Useful Goodies:


You can't survive this class on the movies alone. However, you can watch one of the movies in addition to reading the book. You are not required to watch a movie. If you decide to watch a movie (optional), you can watch this one and this one only. Remember YES to the one with the three letter acronyms. YES to the A&E and BBC version of the film from 1995. This is the one with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. 

(DO NOT watch the 2005 Keira Knightley one. NO Knightley. I have nothing against this movie except that it gets the book really wrong. As a movie it's fine; as an adaptation of the book, it's off by a few accounts.) Also, the one on watch instantly on Netflix is boring as dirt so avoid that. Watch this one.

Audio Books

If you like to listen and read, there is a free audio podcast you can download from Itunes. It can be found at here. It's not the best book on tape I've ever heard, but it's okay, and it's good reinforcement, espcially if you spend a lot of time in the car or if you are a multi-lingual student. There is another version here. Of course, there are plenty of free digital versions and apple apps as well.

There are also audio copies of the book at the public library. Reserve them early if you plan to use them.

The Play

This semester the ARC theater is putting on Pride and Prejudice. I have no idea what it will be like, but you can earn extra credit by going and writing a review.