A truth universally acknowledged

Today is the 197th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice, which Jane Austen wrote at the age of 21.  While a lot of people will say Emma or Persuasion is the better novel - I think MansfieldPark the richest - the enduring popularity of P&P is irrefutable.  Apart from the chemistry between Elizabeth and Darcy, I think this novel has an energy and momentum which the others lack; it glides where the others stroll. It feels effortless.  Also, it's the funniest. No adaptation quite manages to capture the quirkiness of the humour in this one, nor the complexity of a comic character like Mrs Bennet, who is at once irritating and endearing.  My favourite moment in the book is a throw-away line at the close of one insignificant scene, where Mrs Bennet tells a young Lucas son that if she saw him drinking a bottle of wine a day she would take his bottle away from him. “He declared that she wouldn't. She continued to declare that she would, and the argument only ended with the visit.” Delicious.