Celebrating 200 years of ‘Pride and Prejudice’

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By Sam Bertschmann

In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s beloved Pride and Prejudice, Schaffer Library opened “Literature in English, 1713-1913” last Tuesday, Oct. 8. The exhibit, curated by Schaffer’s Head of Technical Services Annette LeClair, features the library’s first edition copy of Austen’s novel.

Rare editions of literary works from England, Scotland, Ireland and the United States published during this time period comprise the rest of the exhibit.

Quotes contributed by students, graduates and faculty in the English department accompany most of the  items on display, shedding light on the significance and lasting relevance of the work in question. Each text is labeled with a brief description of its publication, history and relationship to Austen, when applicable.

To kick off the exhibit, Professor of English Juliette Wells of Goucher College spoke at the Nott Memorial on Tuesday evening about the reception and reworking of Pride and Prejudice in America today.

Wells is the author of Everybody’s Jane: Jane Austen in the Popular Imagination, which was published in 2011. Her lecture chronicled the reception of Pride and Prejudice throughout history and examined contemporary adaptations of Austen’s novel, focusing mainly on erotic, spiritual and zombified retellings of the text.

“Literature in English, 1713-1913” is open to the public through Dec. 17, 2013.

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