Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice
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“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
It is no exaggeration to say that Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is one of the most beloved novels ever written in the English language. A 2003 BBC poll placed Pride and Prejudice in the #2 spot in their list of the “UK’s Best Loved Books, right behind Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. A 2008 Australian survey pegged Pride and Prejudice on top of the “101 Best Books Ever Written.” The novel is no less popular in the US, having spawned numerous film and stage adaptations including the 1940 version starring Sir Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson and the 2005 version with Matthey MacFayden and Keira Knightley in her Oscar-nominated roll as Lizzy. The 1995 BBC mini-series with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, popularized on PBS stations, is credited with spawning a renewed interest in Jane Austen among American teens. Amazingly, Jane Austen sold the copyright to Pride and Prejudice for the sum total of 110 Pounds Sterling, and never earned a penny in royalties.
Paula K. Parker’s sparkling new stage adaptation of the beloved Jane Austen classic, Pride & Prejudice, pits the lovely but opinionated Lizzy Bennet against the handsome, wealthy, yet brooding and taciturn Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy in a fencing match where reputations, family fortunes, and hearts are at stake.
Middle Tennessee-based playwright, Paula K. Parker, adapted the novel with an eye for authenticity and a determination to maintain the integrity of the original work. “There is a tendency for some contemporary playwrights to inject their own values or agendas into the script when they adapt a popular novel for the stage or screen,” Ms. Parker declared. “But Jane Austen’s work stands on its own. Lizzy, Mr. Darcy, Mrs. Bennet, and Mr. Wickham are delightful characters as Jane Austen created them, without trying to infect them with 21st Century proclivities.”