The Guardian reports that Jane’s letter to Cassandra, in which she tells her that she has received a copy of Pride and Prejudice from her publisher in London, is now on display at Jane Austen’s House in Chawton.
The letter, written in January of 1813, contains the news in a long postscript:
“I want to tell you that I have got my own Darling Child from London … For your sake I am as well pleased that it shd be so, as it might be unpleasant to you to be in the Neighbourhood at the first burst of the business.”
The Darling Child was her own copy, hot from the publishers, of Pride and Prejudice. Sense and Sensibility had already been published two years earlier, and sold respectably. However, Pride and Prejudice, with the truth universally acknowledged that its opening sentence is one of the most parodied in fiction, would make her immortal: it regularly tops readers’ surveys of the best, and best loved, books of all time.
Congratulations again, Miss Austen.