Pride and Prejudice is a book full of sunshine. Like everything Jane Austen wrote, it is very eighteenth century. The novel is infused with the optimism of the Enlightenment, with the rationalism of Locke and Hume. For the arch-romantic Charlotte Bronte it was all too neat, too well-ordered. But if you like the music of Joseph Haydn, you will also love Jane Austen's books. Just like Haydn, Austen is optimistic and bright, but there is a deeper thought hidden below the surface.
Being an earlier work, Pride and Prejudice is not perfect. Where all events in Emma are so natural that the book almost could have been a biography, in Pride and Prejudice novelistic coincidence still plays a role, for example when Elizabeth takes a holiday tour that by chance brings her to the area where Darcy has his castle. She visits that castle and of course, whom else does she meet but Mr Darcy – etc., etc. But the novel is so much fun that we gladly overlook such small defects.
Pride and Prejudice on Gutenberg. Librivox recording of the novel. I read the Penguin edition of Pride and Prejudice.