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Few readers have failed to be charmed by the witty and independent spirit of Elizabeth Bennet. Her early determination to dislike Mr. Darcy - who is quite the most handsome and eligible bachelor in the whole of English literature - is a misjudgement only matched in folly by Darcy's arrogant pride. Their first impressions give way to truer feelings in a comedy profoundly concerned with happiness and how it might be achieved. Vivien Jones, in her new introduction to this Penguin Classics edition, shows how their romance is inseparable from the important social and political debates of Austen's time, and describes Pride and Prejudice as 'One of the most perfect, most pleasurable and most subtle - and therefore, perhaps, most dangerously persuasive - of romantic love stories.'.