On January 28, 1813, Pride and Prejudice was first published in London. Jane Austen wrote excitedly to her sister, Cassandra, on the 29th, "I want to tell you that I have got my own darling Child from London." With both Cassandra and their housemate Martha Lloyd away from Chawton, Jane and her mother invited Miss Mary Benn--the impoverished spinster sister of the rector of a nearby village--over to hear them read half of the first volume, without telling her of its authorship. Jane reported that "She was amused, poor soul!" As Claire Tomalin says in her biography of Jane Austen, "Just for once in her life...Miss Benn was the luckiest person in the kingdom."
And here's a reminder that to commemorate the anniversary of the "darling Child's" publication, JASNA Syracuse will be holding a meeting at Books and Memories, 2600 James Street, Syracuse, on Saturday, February 6, at 2 p.m. We'll be talking not only about P&P itself, but about the vast number of sequels/retellings/etc. in various media it has inspired; come prepared to discuss! For those new to JASNA, we'll also be providing information about how to join.
Please contact Regional Coordinator A. Marie Sprayberry (firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-446-7787) if you need directions to Books and Memories. Unfortunately, parking on James Street itself is limited and metered. We recommend parking on Woodbine Avenue (the bookstore is on the corner of James and Woodbine); please observe alternate-side parking on Woodbine.