“It is not a crying book.”
On May 1 1813, Annabella Milbanke, the future wife of Lord Byron, having just finished Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, writes to her mother:
I have finished the novel called Pride & Prejudice, which I think a very superior work. It depends not on any of the common resources of Novel writers, no drownings, nor conflagrations, nor runaway horses, nor lap-dogs & parrots, nor chambermaids & milliners, nor rencontres and disguises. I really think it is the most probable fiction I have ever read. It is not a crying book, but the interest is very strong, especially for Mr. Darcy.