“Pride and Prejudice” was published in 1813 during the Regency period. England was at war with France. Many men were in the army or militia.
Pride and Prejudice: AS & A2
Beginning of the Industrial Revolution – some tension between landed and manufacturing classes. Primogeniture system gave property to eldest son (cf. the Longbourn entail).
The novel was a relatively new literary form rapidly becoming popular. Previous novelists had often written in letter format. "Pride and Prejudice"'s initial draft had been epistolary.
The fear of revolution encouraged intellectual conservatism but Austen was aware of new ideas such as Mary Wollstonecraft's thoughts on women's rights and education.
The Regency period was notable for architecture and fine art. Distinctive fashions for men and women emphasised good taste and ‘elegance’ – a preoccupation in "Pride and Prejudice".