Persuasions #10, 1988                                                                                                                                            Page 43

Another Source for Pride and Prejudice



Near Eastern Studies Department, Jones Hall, Princeton, New Jersey 08544


In case no one has noticed this before, I should like to point out a possible derivation for Jane Austen’s title, Pride and Prejudice.

In Chapter 2 of his “Decline and Fall,” Gibbon says:


Without destroying the distinction of ranks, a distant prospect of freedom and honours was presented, even to those whom pride and prejudice almost disdained to number among the human species.1


It is highly probable that Jane Austen read that book.





1  Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ed. by Betty Radice (London: The Folio Society, 1983), I, 63.

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