Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is regarded as a classic piece of 19th Century Literature. The plot revolves around the Bennett family, in particular Elizabeth Bennett. Prominent throughout is the issue of marriage, the necessity for a young woman of the time to marry in order to safeguard her future, and in the case of the Bennett's, that of her family as well.
Elizabeth rebels against the idea that she should marry purely for the financial benefits, and is insistent on marrying only out of love, much to the frustration of her mother. It is the development of her relationship with Mr Darcy that truly captures the readers romantic imagination.
Although the novel is often treated as romantic fiction, an idea that has become increasingly popular since the BBC's dramatisation, it also offers a critique on the social position of women in the early 19th Century. A plight Jane Austen herself was more than familiar with as she tried to break into the male dominated world of literature. After all "it is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."