Monday, May 20, 2024

Week #21 – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Last year on Mondays we had fun with books. This year, we'll look at most of the same books but also some new ones, and see if the first line [or first paragraph] met the goal of a first line which is ==> to hook the reader's attention.

Here are some tips on writing a first line

Week #21 – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

First published: January 28, 1813

Here's what the story is about: Pride and Prejudice, original title First Impressions, was initially published anonymously because Jane Austen disliked attention. The book follows the relationship between Elizabeth Bennet, the daughter of a country gentleman, and Fitzwilliam Darcy, a rich aristocratic landowner. Darcy must overcome his pride and Elizabeth must overcome her prejudice before they can surrender to their love for each other and marry.

First line/paragraph:
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. 

However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.

This is one of the most famous first lines in all of literature. It appears to be omniscient POV, and a romance. We are introduced to a wealthy unmarried man who is apparently sought after as a husband by many of the families in his neighborhood. No plot yet, but good voice and a hint that several young ladies are pursuing him.

Does this first line/paragraph hook your attention? If you had never heard of this story, would you buy this book in 2024? Knowing the story, would you change the first line? Tell us in the comments!

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