Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice or First Impressions is Jane Austen's second and best known novel. Originally written simply for the entertainment of her family, this comic tale with serious undertones and insightful social commentary has become one of the most widely recognised works in English literature.
Though political activism for the equality of women as we know it today was still more than a century away, Austen skillfully described the precarious financial position of women of good birth but little money. Unable to earn a living even if they wished to, an advantageous marriage was the only real avenue available to them. The desperation that forced young women to make practical choices in marriage at the expense of their personal happiness is well illustrated in the obsessive manner in which the mother of the heroine of Pride and Prejudice preoccupies herself with trying to get her five daughters married.