January 28 marks the anniversary of Pride and Prejudice’s publication in 1813, a cultural milestone that almost never was thanks to a dismissive publisher who rejected Jane Austen’s manuscript First Impressions in 1797. Sixteen years later, Thomas Egerton bought the rights to Pride and Prejudice for just £110…and the rest, as they say, is literary history. So today, the twenty-eighth day of January, in honor of P&P’s birthday, Bas Bleu is sharing our list of twenty-eight life lessons we learned from Miss Austen, Lizzie Bennet, Mr. Darcy, and, yes, even Mr. Wickham.
1. Beware of truths universally acknowledged.
2. Be persistent in the face of rejection.
3. There is great joy in a long walk.
4. Don’t set too much stock in first impressions.
5. There are worse things than being single…like being married to Mr. Collins.
6. A six-hour movie isn’t too long if it’s the right story.
7. You can learn a lot about a man by the way he treats his sister.
8. You can’t hide in the library forever.
9. Sharp wit and a pair of fine eyes are worth far more than an expensive dress.
10. The man of your dreams will love you even when you have a terrible cold.
11. When in doubt, say it in a letter.
12. Never play dumb to attract a man.
13. Don’t make important life choices just to soothe your mother’s nerves.
14. Men, always keep your home ready for unexpected guests. You never know when the love of your life will show up.
15. Bad boys are not worth it.
16. Gorge all you want at a banquet as long as you’re wearing an empire-waist dress.
17. It’s not the end of the world if your little sister gets married before you do.
18. A dashing uniform does not make the man.
19. “Obstinate, headstrong girl!” really is a compliment.
20. Don’t be stingy about giving others a second chance. You never know when your own happiness may depend on one.
21. When it comes to a man’s library, size matters.
22. An intelligent woman should never tolerate a disrespectful man…no matter how rich he is.
23. A great love story is always in style.
24. It really is a woman’s prerogative to change her mind.
25. Marrying your true love means marrying his or her entire family.
26. Men may leave you, but your sisters never will.
27. Happy relationships are based on more than romance.
28. Colin Firth then, Colin Firth now, Colin Firth forever.