From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Jane Austen
Thus began one of the most beloved novels ever written.
The popularity of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, 200 years after its publication, cannot be debated…however, which edition should you read, gift, or collect?
Here is a list of my favorite editions currently in print for pleasure readers, students, collectors, and Austen fans.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (Signet Classics), by Jane Austen (2008)
There are 1,000s of paperback editions of this classic in print. With so many choices, I recommend the Signet Classics edition for the first-time reader and the veteran. In addition to the full-unabridged text it includes an excellent introduction by Austen scholar Margaret Drabble, which is both accessible and enlightening, and an entertaining afterword by bestselling historical romance author Eloisa James. The new cover is also appealing to a modern reader.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (Penguin Drop Caps), by Jane Austen (2012)
Sometimes you just want a beautiful cover to admire as much as what is inside. This striking red edition with a boldly stamped “A” for Austen is the first in a series of 26 unique hardcovers—featuring cover art by type superstar Jessica Hische.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (Barnes & Nobel Classics), by Jane Austen (2015)
I love this cover because it is my favorite color, and the design is so appealing. It is part of the Barnes & Nobel “flexibound” editions of collectible classics that also includes Austen’s Emma, Persuasion, and Sense and Sensibility. No Mansfield Park or Northanger Abbey yet, I am sorry to say. Of my many editions of Jane Austen’s novels, this takes in pride of place on my bookshelf because it is colorful and beautiful.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE UNFOLDED: RETOLD IN PICTURES, by Jane Austen, illustrated by Becca Stadtlander (2015)
If you are in a hurry, or just enjoy beautiful illustrations, this fold-out concertina style Pride and Prejudice is fast and fun. Lushly illustrated by Becca Stadtlander, and part of the Classics Unfolded series, this title is protected by a gorgeous slipcase. By condensing the story into 14 scenes, it is a perfect introduction to a young reader as well.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (Folio Society), by Jane Austen, illustrated by Anna and Elena Balbusso (2013)
Any Jane Austen fan would give their eye teeth for this glorious, illustrated collector’s edition from the Folio Society, a small press in England who create exquisite fine editions of classics. This beautifully designed book includes the full-unabridged text of Jane Austen’s novel, an introduced by Austen scholar Sebastian Faulks, and the stunning full-color illustrations by sisters Anna and Elena Balbusso. Swoon!
CLASSICS REIMAGINED, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, by Jane Austen, illustrated by Alice Pattullo (2017)
Charming, delightful, and enchanting, this edition is part of the Classics Reimagined series that includes a full-unabridged text and full-color, folkloric illustrations by contemporary artist, Alice Pattullo. It comes in hardcover and soft cover binding too.
THE OXFORD ILLUSTRATED JANE AUSTEN: VOLUMNE II: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, by Jane Austen, edited by R. W. Chapman (1988)
A stalwart classic, this edition is part of a set of Austen’s novels and minor works. Edited by the eminent Austen scholar R.W. Chapman in the 1920s, it is lightly illustrated with early nineteenth-century plates. It also contains excellent supplemental material to add to your enjoyment and understanding of the novel, Jane Austen’s writing, and the era in which she lived.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: AN ANNOTATED EDITION, by Jane Austen, edited by Patricia Meyer Spacks (2010)
My favorite annotated edition, this beautifully illustrated and extensively annotated edition was edited by distinguished scholar Patricia Meyer Spacks. It included a full-unabridged text, a lengthy introduction, notes on the text, social context, and numerous full-color and black and white illustrations and reproductions of paintings in support of the story. It is just dazzling..
THE ANNOTATED PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, by Jane Austen, annotated and edited by David M. Shapard (2007)
A sheer delight for Jane Austen fans, this volume contains a massive resource of 2,300 annotations from prominent Austen scholar David M. Shappard. It includes a full-unabridged text, explanations of historical context, citations from Austen’s life, letters and other writings, definitions, literary comments and analysis, maps and illustrations, an introduction, a bibliography, and a detailed chronology of events. It is truly a Pride and Prejudice gold mine.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (Easton Press), by Jane Austen, illustrated by Hugh Thomson (2021)
The 1894 “Peacock” edition of Pride and Prejudice is the most valued and collectible of the late 19th century re-issues of Austen’s novels. In addition to its striking cover, it contained 160 illustrations by Hugh Thomson. If you were to find a vintage copy it could cost as you much as $9,000! Easton Press has reproduced the book with some improvements. It has recreated each page of the full text, the illustrations, and the cover and upgraded it by binding it in full-leather and encasing it in a custom slipcase. It’s not cheap, but nothing really worth having is!
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, by Jane Austen, illustrated by Marjolein Bastin (2021)
The internationally celebrated artwork of Marjolein Bastin graces the pages of the timeless classic, Pride and Prejudice. Beyond bringing the full text to life, this edition includes elaborately designed ephemera, such as four-color maps, letters, family trees, and sheet music. I lovely edition in which you will spend hours enjoying the extras and illustrations.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: THE COMPLETE NOVEL, WITH NINETEEN LETTERS FROM THE CHARACTERS’ CORRESPONDENCE, by Jane Austen & Barbara Heller (2020)
This deluxe edition includes re-creations of the nineteen letters exchanged between characters within the full text. Each will transport you even further into Jane Austen’s world than you have experienced before. Designed with gorgeous calligraphy and housed in glassine pockets placed throughout the novel, what a thrill it is to hold and read Mr. Darcy’s “Be not alarmed” letter to Elizabeth that changes the course of the novel.
JANE AUSTEN’S PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: A BOOK-TO-TABLE CLASSICS (Puffin Plated), by Jane Austen, recipes by Martha Stewart (2018)
This edition combines a deluxe, full-color hardback edition of the perennial Jane Austen classic with a selection of recipes for tea-time treats by the one and only Martha Stewart!
Jane Austen + Martha Stewart = a Regency tea party in full costume. Too fun!
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (Oxford World’s Classics), by Jane Austen, introduction and notes by Christina Lupton, edited by James Kinsley (3rd edition, 2020)
This recently revised edition is a must for students, young and old. The contents include a full unabridged text, introduction, notes on the text, select bibliography, a chronology of Jane Austen, appendices on rank, social standing, dancing, textual notes, and explanatory notes.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (Penguin Classics), by Jane Austen, introduction by Tony Tanner and Vivien Jones, edited by Vivien Jones (2006)
As the years have rolled along, these expanded and supplemented editions of literary classics just get better and better. This Penguin edition of Pride and Prejudice is excellent. Edited with introduction and notes by Vivien Jones, it also includes the original introduction by Tony Tanner. The enriched eBook includes even more material: notes, nineteenth-century reviews of the novel, a chronology, suggested further reading, appendices on what Austen ate, how to prepare tea, Austen sites to visit in England, maps of locations in Pride and Prejudice, etiquette and dancing in Austen’s day, and period illustrations. That is quite a bundle.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (Marvel Illustrated), by Jane Austen, adapted by Nancy Butler, illustrated by Hugo Petrus (2009)
Modified for the modern reader by two-time Rita Award-Winner Nancy Butler, this Marvel Comics version of Pride and Prejudice is as light, bright, and sparkling as a comic book edition can be. The numerous illustrations by popular graphic novel artist Hugo Petras are entertaining and amusing.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (Usborne Young Reading Series), by Jane Austen, adapted by Susanna Davidson, illustrated by Simona Bursi (2011)
Abridging and adapting the text of an early nineteenth century classic of English literature for a younger audience is challenge. Susanna Davidson’s version is the best that I have encountered. Along with the excellent full-color illustrations by Simon Bursi, and the larger sized format, you can proudly gift this beautiful edition to both young and old.
SEARCH AND FIND PRIDE & PREJUDICE, by Jane Austen, adapted by Sarah Powell, illustrated by Amanda Enright (2017)
I liked this search and find edition of Pride and Prejudice so much that I purchased several copies for my Austen friends. One is a schoolteacher who shared it with her delighted students, the other is a big graphic novel reader, and the other loves games of all kind. They were all thrilled to receive it.
Each page has a two-sided color illustration of a scene in the novel with many objects and characters hidden within it. The objective is to search and find – like where’s Waldo in Jane Austen’s novel. Accompanied by an abridged text, this edition is perfect for sharing with little ones too.
PRIDE AND PREJDUICE, by Jane Austen, read by Juliet Stevenson (2021)
I have listened to many audio recordings of Jane Austen’s most popular novel over the years. This new edition by Naxos Audiobooks is read by esteemed British actress Juliet Stevenson. It contains 14 hours and 2 minutes of pure bliss and is the best by far. Stevenson brings us a flawless performance by using her years of acting experience on stage and screen to each character by giving them unique voices, inflection, drama, and humor. It is delightful.
I hope you find the Pride and Prejudice edition of your dreams from my curated list. Please share if I have missed your favorite.
Best, Laurel Ann Nattress, editor
We purchased a copy of the book for our own enjoyment, or we received a review copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Austenprose is an Amazon affiliate. Cover images are used courtesy of the respective publishers; text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2022, austenprose.com. This post was last updated on February 22, 2022.