Reviews for Pride and Prejudice : An Annotated Edition

Library Journal Reviews 2010 September #1

Early in Pride and Prejudice, Austen writes, "the very shoe-roses for Netherfield were got by proxy." Today's readers may wonder what a shoe rose is. Prominent literary editor Spacks (English, emerita, Univ. of Virginia; Boredom: The Literary History of a State of Mind) supplies the explanation, along with scores of other brief notes defining the terms of Austen's era. She offers more substantial discussions of various references as well as explanations for such components as a young Regency woman entering into society. She also provides an extremely useful introduction, detailing Austen's life and noting (along with her "further reading" section) the ongoing scholarly attention. Readers will also appreciate Spacks's well-placed references to the interpretations of other scholars, such as Tony Tanner and Linda Colley. VERDICT The value of this edition, as Spacks maintains, is that "annotation helps to locate Austen in history, in literature, in language." Pride and Prejudice has been annotated before--David M. Shapard's 2003 edition--but Spacks's approach is more literary than his historical focus. Readers will appreciate the placement of Spacks's annotations along the wide margin of the page they relate to, as well as the many color illustrations. A valuable addition for any Austen student, scholar, or fan.--Kathryn R. Bartelt, Univ. of Evansville Libs., IN

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Janeites are not often pleased with sequels and spin-offs, the central problem being that no one writes like Austen and that, while trying, they sometimes stumble over details and sound like someone doing a bad fake accent. For readers who feel this way, the only possible read-alike is another book by Austen. Yet how can advisors provide for readers who have read all of her books each year, for years? Look to Spacks's sumptuously annotated volume. Based on the 1813 first edition, it contains notes, contextual background, and illustrations. The oversized volume also includes a lengthy introduction, which will thrill Austen admirers, as well as a list of further reading. It is a glorious feast of a book, one that offers more substantial expansions of the novel than do many of the re-imagined versions. - "RA Crossroads," LJ Reviews 1/5/2012 (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.