Commentaries on the Exhibit’s Works




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A brief commentary prepared by Laura Vorachek, PhD, Associate Professor, English, on the following work:

Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice
1813; One of only five copies in the original boards


“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”With this iconic sentence and a delightfully ironic tone, Jane Austen began Pride and Prejudice, which, despite an initial rejection by a publisher sight unseen, became her most successful and most celebrated novel. Austen “lopt & cropt” the manuscript and sold it 16 years later; the first printing in January 1813 quickly sold out, and a second edition appeared that November.In the 1880s, after a nephew published a memoir about Austen, interest in her work grew again, and Pride and Prejudice’s popularity has never wavered.The omniscient narrator’s “universal truth,” in fact, reflects the attitudes of only a particular community; it is, Austen slyly indicates, women of no fortune who want husbands, not men of good fortune who need wives.

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Laura Vorachek, associate professor of English, reads a selection.

Austen: ‘Pride and Prejudice’


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