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It is not so long since I first read this, but in the meantime I have read three other Austen novels so now have a basis of comparison.

Pride and Prejudice is much the best for my money. This is largely because of the strength of Elizabeth Bennet as a protagonist, and the portrayal of the other characters, especially the somewhat endearing hopelessness of most of the Bennet family. Also, Austen gets the mix between mocking the conventions of the day and actual plot pretty much right. Elizabeth is surprisingly self-confident for her age and given her family dynamics, but of course great stories are often written about unusual people. Darcy is also rather a paragon of enlightened beneficence, despite his occasional good-faith mistakes, but again he is a romantic male lead. The plot is tight and simple. All good stuff.

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