Pride and Prejudice
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PD James: 'Price and Prejudice is perfect in every way'

28 January 2013 Last updated at 08:49 GMT

The novel Pride and Prejudice celebrates its 200th birthday on Monday.

The book has stood the test of time and kept the name of Jane Austen firmly in the pantheon of history's greatest writers.

Speaking to the Today programme, the author PD James - who wrote a sequel to Pride and Prejudice, described the novel as "perfect in every way".

"The writing is lucid and elegant, we love the characters, and enter fully into their lives. The plot moves steadily towards a happy conclusion, and nothing is kept back from the reader," she said.

Prof Janet Todd, president of Lucy Cavendish College and a scholar of early women writers, said: "What's so wonderful about the book is that it's everybody's fantasy, but you can see so many other depths in it. And that's what's so wonderful about Jane Austen, you can go on reading it and reading it.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme on Monday 28 January 2012.