Pride and Prejudice

by: Jane Austen


Pride and Prejudice is set in England at some point in the very late 1700s-early 1800s. The exact dates are unclear, but we know the action takes place some time during the Napoleonic Wars (1797-1815) because Austen references soldiers and regiments. Since the novel was written and revised between 1796 and 1813, we can assume Austen sets the novel at about the same time she was writing. The action moves between a few different locations in England, including Brighton, London, and the counties of Hertfordshire, Derbyshire, and Kent, but there is little detailed description of the geographic settings. For women like the Bennet sisters, opportunities to experience the world around them were relatively limited, and most of their lives were confined to the residences and private parties of a small circle of family and friends. In confining the action of her novels to these settings, Austen implies that intense psychological drama can still unfold even within a small and seemingly uneventful world.