Are you one of Jane Austen’s legion of obsessive fans? Have you read Pride and Prejudice once, or occasionally, or until the covers are falling off? Do you know your Sir Lewis de Bourghs from your apothecary shopboys? If so, we need your help!
We’ve put together a survey which contains the full list of characters that we’ve compiled, and we’re trying to crowdsource reader impressions of which are the most important or influential people in the novel. You can access it here!
What’s this about?
As well as the adventures of the main cast, we are actually also interested in the doings of very low-frequency characters – individuals that are only mentioned a few times, or even just once in the book. In order to get a better handle on these characters – and help us to find them in the first place! – we’re currently experimenting with various methods of quantifying character importance. An obvious way to go about doing this is to get impressions from readers who are familiar with the text. So if you don’t mind sacrificing a few minutes of your day on the altar of classic romantic fiction, then we’d love to get your thoughts!
A couple of caveats
Edited to add: I appear to have formatted this section a bit oddly when this post was first published. Sorry about that!
The list of characters we’ve used for the survey is based on the text of the novel, which differs considerably from the various screen adaptations that have been made, so this survey is really aimed at fans of the book rather than the movie or TV versions.
Because we’re interested in literally anyone who might have momentarily walked onto the page, we’ve deliberately been very exhaustive, and there are likely to be a few names in there that will make you say “Who?!” This is absolutely fine – just mark anyone you don’t recognise with a 1.