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Pride and Prejudice Voted UK’s Top Read

March 6, 2007

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, the classic Jane Austen novel, has been voted the nation’s favourite in a UK poll mark the recent World Book Day,

The Jane Austen novel was chosen by 20% of the 2000 people surveyed online, and it proved popular with almost every age group. The under-18’s voted it second to the Harry Potter series.

In second place came Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien with 17% of the vote, and in third, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte with 14%.

The Harry Potter novels came in overall fifth with under 12% of the total, while Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird totalled less than 10%. The Bible ranked sixth in the list, although it ranked fourth by both the 43-60 and over 60’s age groups. It was placed 19th by the under 18’s and came in two places above Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, considered by many to be of an anti-religious theme, which came in eighth with 6%.

Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights was voted seventh with 8.5 %, while His Dark Materials and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four tied for eighth place.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens completed the top ten list.
Other contemporary books that featured in the top 100 include Bridget Jones’s Diary (68), Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children (69), Sebastian Faulks’s Birdsong (17), and Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code (42). Celebrity biographies fail to register in the top 100.

Male voters picked The Lord of the Rings as their favourite book, with Pride and Prejudice at number six, while Jane Austen was placed as number one by women, who voted The Lord of the Rings fifth.

Sue Horner, of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority said: “All these books have a timeless quality, whenever they were written. It is likely that many of them are lasting favourites, first encountered at school.”

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