A Preview of Pride and Prejudice: The Complete Novel, with Nineteen Letters from the Characters’ Correspondence, by Jane Austen & Barbara Heller

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress: 

Let me ask you a serious question, Janeites. How many copies of Pride and Prejudice do you own? Fess up. Five, ten, twenty—or more than you will publicly admit to?

I fear that I fall into the latter category, having collected new and vintage copies of the classic novel since my teens when my mom gave me my first copy from her library. Since then it has been an uphill battle against my willpower. When a new shiny P&P hits the market, it’s mine.

Imagine my delight then when I spied a new P&P that included nineteen handwritten letters tipped in. WHOA! Pride and Prejudice: The Complete Novel, with Nineteen Letters from the Characters’ Correspondence, by Jane Austen & Barbara Heller contains the full unabridged text and recreated letters that Jane Austen’s characters wrote to each other during the course of the novel designed to look like they just arrived by post in 1813! I kid you not. Physical letters to hold in my hot little hands.

I did not think it was possible to heighten this Janeites’ P&P experience, however, this new edition blew my bonnet off. I want to frame the “Be not alarmed, Madame,” letter from Mr. Darcy and prominently display it in my home. To see his handwriting and signature. SWOON! Thank you very much, Austen Gods.

Here is a preview of this enchanting new edition to further pique your interest. If you are as much of a Pride and Prejudice geek as I am, it will only take about five seconds for you to realize that this book is a brilliant, eye-popping expansion of the beloved classic that makes you feel one step closer to the characters. It was a total thrill for me. Enjoy!


This deluxe edition brings to life the letters exchanged among Jane Austen’s characters in Pride and Prejudice.

Glassine pockets placed throughout the book contain removable replicas of 19 letters from the story.

These powerful epistles include Lydia’s announcement of her elopement, Mr. Collins’s obsequious missives, and of course Darcy’s painfully honest letter to Elizabeth.

  • Nothing captures Jane Austen’s vivid emotion and keen wit better than her characters’ correspondence.
  • Each letter is re-created with gorgeous calligraphy.
  • Letters are hand-folded with painstaking attention to historical detail.

Perusing the letters will transport readers straight to the drawing-room at Netherfield or the breakfast table at Longbourn.

For anyone who loves Austen, and for anyone who still cherishes the joy of letter writing, this book illuminates a favorite story in a whole new way.

  • Step inside the world of Pride and Prejudice, one of the most beloved novels of all time.
  • Great Mother’s Day, birthday, or holiday gift for diehard Jane Austen fans
  • A visually gorgeous book that will be at home on the shelf or on the coffee table

Add it to the shelf with books like What Would Jane Do?: Quips and Wisdom from Jane Austen by Potter Gift, Jane-a-Day: 5 Year Journal with 365 Witticisms by Jane Austen Edition by Potter Gift, and The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things by Paula Byrne.

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  • “And finally, for the letter lover with a touch of class, you must get the forthcoming edition of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” curated by Barbara Heller. This exquisite book presents the novel’s full text along with 19 letters “handwritten” by Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet, Caroline Bingley and others. Their notes, complete with appropriate postmarks, are dropped into pouches placed at just the right moments in the story. More than a gimmick, it’s a dramatic way to experience the central role that correspondence plays in the novel. “The post-office has a great charm at one period of our lives,” Austen wrote, and Heller’s inventive edition does much to reclaim that. ”   – The Washington Post
  • “Fans of the original, even particularly exacting fans, will likely be impressed with Heller’s achievement…Even beyond the minute care taken in the handwriting, the letters in Heller’s edition of Pride and Prejudice are painstakingly detailed, from the style of folding (letters didn’t have envelopes, so they served as their own containers) to the postal markings and wax imprints indicating price, mileage, date, etc…. These letters, with the various character traits that their appearances indicate, can bring 21st-century readers closer to Austen’s world.” —Ted Scheinman, Smithsonian Magazine 
  • “Now, readers can get an impression of how Miss Bennet would have felt when she read his [Darcy’s] note after an Austen devotee created meticulous mock-ups of 19 of the novel’s letters in period handwriting.” —The Times (London)
  • “It’s a lovely gift for any die-hard Jane Austen fan, or even for those new to the story, since the letters bring a real personal touch and make it feel more real, adding depth to Jane Austen’s probably most famous story. It is a quality edition that would be appreciated by serious and more casual fans, alike.” —GeekMom.com


Barbara Heller’s career in film and television encompasses finding furnishings and props for many shows including The Americans and When They See Us; location managing films for Francis Coppola, Nancy Meyers, and Barbet Schroeder; and directing award-winning short films that have played at festivals around the world (Cannes, Berlin, Sundance). To satisfy her curiosity, she reported on why hotels fold the end of the toilet paper into a point for NPR. She graduated from Brown University with a degree in English Literature and lives with her son in New York City.


  • Pride and Prejudice: The Complete Novel, with Nineteen Letters from the Characters’ Correspondence, by Jane Austen & Barbara Heller
  • Chronicle Books (September 15, 2020)
  • Hardcover (240) pages
  • ISBN: 978-1452184579
  • Genre: Historical Fiction


Austenprose is an Amazon affiliate. Cover image, interior images, book description, and author bio courtesy of Chronicle Books © 2020; text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2020, austenprose.com.

20 thoughts on “A Preview of Pride and Prejudice: The Complete Novel, with Nineteen Letters from the Characters’ Correspondence, by Jane Austen & Barbara Heller

Add yours

  1. I am obsessed with this book. Anyone who loves Pride and Prejudice simply needs to own it. The experience of opening and reading Mr. Darcy’s lengthy letter in particular was so intense and delicious. I hope all Janeites can experience that moment for themselves one day soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well that just puts me over the moon! My hope was that the letters, visual and tactile, would connect reader and character across time. To hear that I succeeded with you, Natalie, is wonderful! Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have so far resisted the need to own multiple copies, but this sounds too wonderful to pass up. I love the notion of having the “actual” letters to read. I have always thought that P&P was originally an epistolary novel (rather than S&S).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lynn, It was my desire to hold Mrs. Gardiner’s “long, kind, satisfactory” letter to Elizabeth that set me on the path to creating this edition. I was amazed that there were 19 complete letters in novel. I never got tired of reading them and I read them a lot! Thank you for your interest.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hearing that makes me very happy. Because I love the book so much, and felt such a huge responsibility to Austen, I really agonized over all the details. Reading that the letters resonate, is a joy. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I had a lot of copies before I started the project and now I have even more, along with a large stack of books on British Postal History that I’m not sure I’ll ever read again but will have a hard time parting with….! Glad you’re interested in the letters.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I have only owned two copies of P&P: one a paperback and one in an edition which has all Jane Austen’s stories. I do, though, own several hundred paperback or Kindle copies of JAFF. Thanks for sharing about this version here.

    Liked by 1 person

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