'Pride and Prejudice': 5 things you may not know about the classic novel

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen is universally loved, even 200 years after the publication of her most popular novel, “Pride and Prejudice.” Two centuries after Ms. Austen published the beloved novel, Austenites are kicking off a yearlong bicentennial celebration of “Pride and Prejudice,” complete with read-a-thons, “pop-up” theatrical performances, essay contests, exhibitions, and of course, a BBC-filmed reconstruction of Netherfield Ball, where Elizabeth Bennet met Mr. Darcy. Nonetheless, as intimately familiar as Austenites have become with the widely-read novel, we’ve uncovered some secrets about “Pride and Prejudice.” Here, we present five things you didn’t know about “Pride and Prejudice.”

1. 'Pride and Prejudice' was almost published as 'First Impressions'

A 21-year-old Austen attempted to publish the book under that title in 1797 before it was significantly revised and published under the now-familiar title in 1813, possibly to avoid confusion with other works entitled “First Impressions.” “Pride and Prejudice” was most likely taken from a passage of Fanny Burney’s 1782 novel, “Cecelia,” which heavily used that now-popular phrase: “The whole of this unfortunate business... has been the result of pride and prejudice... If to pride and prejudice you owe your miseries, so wonderfully is good and evil balanced, that to pride and prejudice you will also owe their termination.”

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