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Pride and Prejudice – 200 years on

Published: 13 March 2013
Chawton House Library

Enthusiastic readers of Jane Austen joined academics and students for a study day at Chawton House Library – the home of the novelist’s brother – to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice.

Four scholars of Austen discussed her best-loved novel, with a variety of talks focusing on her style, on reception and legacy, on her life and times, and on 20th and 21st century adaptations. Dr Shelley Cobb, Lecturer of English and Film at the University of Southampton, spoke about how Pride and Prejudice had been portrayed on film and TV, from conventional treatments to the adoption of its themes in Bridget Jones Diary; her talk included amusing and illuminating video clips.

The day was organised by Dr Gillian Dow, Director of Research at Chawton House Library and Southampton lecturer. It ended at Jane Austen's House Museum, with a selection of readings from the novel by Elizabeth Garvie, the actress who played Elizabeth Bennet in the 1980 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice.

It was one of several events in early 2013 that marked the anniversary. Music staff have contributed to a BBC2 TV documentary reconstructing a Regency evening entertainment complete with a ball; the Southampton team led by Professor Jeanice Brooks and Dr Wiebke Thormählen researched and performed the music.

Novelist, Teaching Fellow, and author of Jane Austen’s Guide to Modern Life’s Dilemmas, Rebecca Smith is also running writing workshops on themes from Pride and Prejudice at the Jane Austen House Museum in Chawton.

Dr Bharat Tandon from the University of East Anglia, is the author of Jane Austen and the Morality of Conversation (2003) and a judge for the 2012 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. He was one of the speakers at the study day. Listen to his talk 'I do not write for such dull Elves: Finding Voices in Pride and Prejudice.' by clicking on the link to the right of this page. 

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