One of the most iconic lines in romance history is: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."
It is a tad outdated, but the sentiment has rung true and influenced generation, after generation of writers.
Jane Austin was written (or at least published in 1913) and has been adapted into countless movies and TV shows. It follows the story of Elizabeth who is of very little social consequence and feels as though she is destined never to marry - and become a burden on her (already financially struggling) family. Along comes Mr Darcy, with significant means, who despite Elizabeth's frequent cold outbursts, shows himself as worthy of her affections, and her of his.
This is period drama at its finest. So, if you've just finished up Jane Austen's classic, then you'll be looking for a book like Pride and Prejudice. Here are a few we can think of.
One Day - David Nicholls
I remember reading this one summer, on a couch in a flat owned by an ex-lover. An ex-lover who was gallivanting through the USA and who, it would turn out, dumped me when they returned. After paying three months of their rent.
This was just after I have myself finished Pride and Prejudice. One Day is a wonderful book but the painful, beautiful story inside the pages of this book still sticks with me many years later.
Like P&P there are many set ups, false starts and ending you'll never forget.
To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf
I read Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse during a strange time of my life - and I seem to remember that this book was also on the strange side.
Like all Virginia Woolf novels, you should expect the novel to be much deeper than it may seem. It is why reading her works multiple times releases multiple layers of detail.
This novel follows the Ramsey family during their stays in an isolated holiday home on the Isle of Skye. The book, like Pride and Prejudice, explores themes of love, society, class and marriage.
Wuthering Heights - Emily Brönte
Any self-respecting list of books like Pride and Prejudice must mention at least one of the Brönte sisters. The more famous of the two is Emily who is the mastermind behind the all-time classic Wuthering Heights.
Written in 1847, this story, like Pride and Prejudice, has been a story readapted for TV multiple times. The story is about a 'demonic love' between Catherine and Heathcliff.
After years of bullying and humiliation at the hands of Catherine's brother, leaves their home believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated. Years later, he returns a successful polished man, to exact his revenge for the miseries of his past.
Much like most of Jane Austen's works, this book explores the role of love between men and women, class and power.
A Vindication of the rights of women - Mary Wollstonecraft
This is not an addition you're likely to find in any other recommendations for books similar to anything Jane Austen has written, but there is a good reason for the inclusion of this novel.
Although relatively unknown, Mary Wollstonecraft is considered one of the most important feminist philosophers of her time, and ours. Her work 'A Vindication of the Rights of Women was published in 1792 before her death in 1797.
Mary lived in Bath, where Jane Austen lived and wrote her own novels. The themes of femininity and self-determination are without doubt inspired by Mary Wollstonecraft.
Emma - Jane Austen
It goes without saying that if you like Pride and Prejudice, then most of Jane Austen's works will be to your fancy. Personally, I do not think that Emma is quiet as good as Pride and Prejudice but it is still a very enjoyable book to read on a lazy summer's day.
If you love romance, a swashbuckling male lead and a happy fulfilling end, then you're going to love Emma. It follows a very similar story arch to P&P so maybe leave it a month or so before reading. You want to avoid De Ja Vu as much as you can.
Emma again follows the theme of femininity, marriage and the role of women in society.
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brönte
Jane Eyre, like Pride and Prejudice, is an extremely well adapted, researched and regarded novel in almost every regard. The Brönte sisters are smashing it for us girls.
The book follows Jane from her childhood when she lived as an orphan in the North of England, to her life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. Here she meets the charming, and complicated, Mr Rochester, whom she entangles in a love affair with.
The book is a twisted, gothic and uncharacteristically dark novel that explores of women's independence and religious piety.