A Calendar for Pride and Prejudice

Click Here to go directly to the calendar. This calendar, drawn from the extant text of Pride & Prejudice, demonstrates that the novel went through a number of revisions. The 1796-97 First Impressions was a far more leisurely affair with many more conversations between Darcy and Elizabeth, with something of the pace of Mansfield Park, and of the didactic outlining of conversations at the close of the extant Sense and Sensibility which recall those of Rasselas and periodical fiction of the period. It was probably epistolary, and the journey into Derbyshire reveals "lopping and chopping". Pride and PrejudiceThe reader is invited to study the following with care: A number of the dates and days are given by Austen herself either in letters or by characters who remember back to some previous incident. Time is indeterminate in the first eight weeks of the extant novel where we are told about all sorts of events (dances, dinners, meetings) that we have no record for, and time becomes indeterminate during Jane's visit to the Gardiners and at turning points during Elizabeth's visit to Rosings. Inconsistencies or contradictions occur during Elizabeth's time travelling and the sequence leading up to and culminating in Lydia's running away with Wickham. The reader should notice the one strikingly inconsistent date (August 2nd for Mr Gardiner's letter to Mr Bennet); it would not be inconsistent were we to switch the calendar for just this last climax to 1802. I suggest that much was lost just before publication. After the relative and unexpected success of Sense and Sensibility Austen was eager that her book should be accepted and sell. The taste of popularity and self-respect made her hope too intensely; that hope spurred her on, but it had an ambivalent effect on the final product which hollowed it out so that she said it was too "light, bright and sparkling". The original had depths and ambivalences of the kind we find in the later books. Continue on to the calendar Ellen Moody, a Lecturer in English at George Mason University, has compiled the most accurate calendars for Jane Austen's work, to date. Drawn from a variety of sources, including the original Chapman calendars and period Almanacs, her work has been recognized as the most thorough and certainly inclusive of all Austen Calendars. She has created timelines for each of the six novels and the three unfinished novel fragments; one of the calendars has been published as "A Calendar For Sense and Sensibility" in the Fall 2000 edition of the Philological Quarterly. To see more of her work on Austen visit her website to find Essays on Mansfield Park and a copy of a published essay-review on the film adaptations of Jane Austen's novels For information on how Ellen created her calendars, click here Enjoyed this article? Visit our giftshop and escape into the world of Jane Austen.