If you like Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

If you like Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." So begins Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen's perfect comedy of manners--one of the most popular novels of all time--that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues. (catalogy summary)


After you've read Pride & Prejudice, the first place to start is to read all of Jane Austen’s novels. She only had seven novels published, but no writer has ever surpassed her in writing the novel of manners, revealing the human heart through the minutiae of social interaction.



Emma by Jane Austen
Beautiful, clever, rich--and single--Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr. Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protégé Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected. (catalog summary)

Lady Susan

Lady Susan, The Watsons, & Sandition by Jane Austen
These three short works show Austen experimenting with a variety of literary styles, from melodrama to satire, and exploring a range of social classes and settings. The early epistolary novel Lady Susan depicts an unscrupulous coquette, toying with the affections of several men. In contrast, The Watsons is a delightful fragment, whose spirited heroine--Emma--finds her marriage opportunities limited by poverty and pride. Meanwhile Sandition, set in a seaside resort, offers a glorious cast of hypochondriacs and spectators, treated by Austen with both amusement and skepticism. (catalog summary)


Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park  by Jane Austen  
Fanny is an impoverished young woman, snubbed by society, who earns the respect and love of her cousin in this classic set in 19th-century England. (catalog summary)


Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen  
Catherine Morland, an unlikely heroine--unlikely because she is so ordinary--forsakes her English village for the pleasures and perils of Bath. There, among a circle of Austen's wonderfully vain, dissembling, and fashionable characters, she meets a potential suitor, Henry Tilney. But with her imagination fueled by melodramatic novels, Catherine turns a visit to his home, Northanger Abbey, into a hunt for dark family secrets. The result is a series of hilarious social gaffes and harsh awakenings that for all of Austen's youthful exuberance nevertheless conveys her mature vision of literature and life--and the consequences of mistaking one for the other. (catalog summary)




Persuasion by Jane Austen
Anne Elliott seems to have given up on present happiness and has resigned herself to living off her memories. More than seven years earlier she complied with duty: persuaded to view the match as imprudent and improper, she broke off her engagement to a naval captain with no fortune, ancestry, or prospects. However, when peacetime arrives and brings the Navy home, and Anne encounters Captain Wentworth once more, she starts to believe in second chances. (catalog summary)


Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen  
Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve, and, when she falls in love with the dashing but unsuitable John Willoughby, she ignores her sister Elinor's warning that her behavior leaves her open to gossip. Meanwhile, Elinor is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment. (catalog summary)



Here are some other 19th-, 20th- and 21st-century authors who have mastered this genre.

Anna Karenia


Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
The classic 19-century Russian novel in which a young woman is destroyed when she attempts to live outside the moral law of her society. (catalog summary)



The Bostonians

The Bostonians
by Henry James  
From Boston's social underworld emerges Verena Tarrant, a girl with extraordinary oratorical gifts, which she deploys in tawdry meeting-houses on behalf of "the sisterhood of women." She acquires two very different admirers: Olive Chancellor, devotee of radical causes and marked out for tragedy; and Basil Ransom, a veteran of the Civil War who holds rigid views concerning society and women's place in it. (catalog summary)


Jane Eyre


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
In early 19th-century England, an orphaned young woman accepts employment as a governess and soon finds herself in love with her employer who has a terrible secret. Charlotte Brontë's novel about the passionate love between Jane Eyre, a young girl alone in the world, and the rich, brilliant, domineering Rochester has enthralled every kind of reader, from the most critical and cultivated to the youngest and most unabashedly romantic, ever since its publication in 1847. (catalog summary)



The Song of the Lark

The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather
This story, set in Colorado, recounts the life of a young girl who leaves a small town to go to the big city to become an opera singer. As she climbs in her profession, she sees the lesser talents of those around her. She is forced to leave behind relationships that do not help her achieve her goals. (catalog summary)



Wuthering Heights


Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Lockwood, the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange on the bleak Yorkshire moors, is forced to seek shelter one night at Wuthering Heights, the home of his landlord. There he discovers the history of the tempestuous events that took place years before: of the intense passion between the foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw, and her betrayal of him. As Heathcliff's bitterness and vengeance is visited upon the next generation, their innocent heirs must struggle to escape the legacy of the past. (catalog summary)


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