Is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen an example of literary fiction or commercial fiction?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You seem to be asking if this great classic novel was written primarily as a form of literature to be read or whether it was written by Jane Austen for commercial reasons as a source of income. Well, it is an interesting fact that in spite of the fame of Jane Austen in today's world and the way that her books are widely read and studied now, actually Jane Austen received little fame or money for her books during her lifetime. Although her family and close friends knew that she published books, success and fame remained elusive for Jane Austen. This strongly points towards the way in which she wrote not primarily for financial motives but for the simple pleasure of writing and depicting the domestic scenes that occupy so much of her fiction. It is interesting to note that Austen herself compared her style to that of a miniaturist painter in the way that she produced detailed sketches of the foibles and follies of her society in her satirical writings. Financial success was definitely not the prime reason for writing her fiction. Therefore we cannot call this a commercial novel.