Department of English

University of Toronto

Prof. Deidre Lynch: The Endurance of Pride and Prejudice


Professor Deidre Lynch recently spoke with Jenny Hall from the Research and Innovations Office at the University of Toronto, to discuss the enduring popularity of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. An exerpt of the interview is below. For the full article, please see the link at the bottom of the page.

A Q&A with English professor and Jane Austen scholar Prof. Deidre Lynch

Jane Austen. Image: Wikimedia commons.

Jane Austen. Image: Wikimedia commons.

January 28th marks the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s novel of class, family, love and marriage. The tale of Elizabeth Bennett and her sisters consistently tops lists of the world’s best-loved books. We spoke to Deidre Lynch, Chancellor Jackman Professor in the Department of English, about the story’s amazing staying power. Lynch teaches about Austen and is the editor of Janeites: Austen’s Disciples and Devotees and of the Oxford World’s Classics edition of Austen’s Persuasion.

Why is Pride and Prejudice still so popular?

It’s a fantastic book. It has archetypal Cinderella-story-like qualities that I think help ensure its staying power. And the plot is ever so adaptable—Bridget Jones’s Diary would be a good example. But mainly, it’s because of Elizabeth Bennet, who is just such an attractive heroine, and the particular intimacy with her mind we feel as readers. There’s her wittiness, but there’s also our ability to sympathize when she faces the consequences of her wit, when she realizes what she’s lost and when she realizes how her family looks to other people. We share in her embarrassment.

To read the full article, please visit the University of Toronto Research and Innovation page at:

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