Unbelievable as it may see, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is cited by academics and booklovers as the bestselling novel of all time. Why is it possible that 200 years after their publication, her works continue to captivate both old fans and new audiences in the 21st century? In my opinion, the answer is clear: what she wrote about is still relevant today.
Her novels are much more than a great plot, a happy ending, carriages, ballgowns and romance. Thanks to her sharp wit and strong female characters, we learn about the limited choices women had at the time. She saved her most searing critique not for male idiocy, but the forces behind it – morals, property, money. The political and class system of the time was rigid and very biased towards men, and she used her romantic novels as a mouthpiece to criticize this situation.
Of all the women portrayed in her novels, there is one I’m particularly fond of: Elinor (Sense and Sensibility). It is tough to be the practical one, the voice of common sense, someone who is not led by her emotions, who tries to handle her life and that of her family in a pragmatic and socially conventional way and still be full of emotions and feelings. Elinor is all that… If you have never read any of Jane Austen’s books, give Sense and Sensibility a go!