1st page of original "Pride and Prejudice", author Jane Austen
Her longevity is noteworthy. She has delighted generations of readers and will continue to do so in years to come.
—Celine Kear, Jane Austen Society of Winnipeg
When Jane Austen published her first novel, Sense and Sensibility, in 1811 no one could have predicted the impact her writing would have.
And it took 100 years, until 1911, for scholars to begin examining Austen's novels in academic circles. Today there are Jane Austen Societies around the world, sharing and celebrating her work.
Pride and Prejudice has become one of the best-known love stories ever written. The Jane Austen Society of Winnipeg is celebrating the bi-centenary of its publication at McNally Robinson on March 13 with readings and a dramatization.
SCENE asked Society coordinator Celine Kear to give us four reasons why Jane Austen is still relevant today:
1. The need for moral guidance remains through all ages and Jane Austen is a superbly moral writer. She perfected the comedy of manners, which shows the interaction between the moral world and the social world. The comedy of manners is concerned with more than surface politeness. True propriety in the world of Jane Austen's novels provides a standard of virtue. Austen avoided the didactic preachy tone of many of her contemporaries and still her moral voice is there, speaking to us directly or through the characters she created.