The novel Pride and Prejudice is set during the (broadly constructed) Regency era, not during the early Victorian era.

The “regency” that the name of the era refers to is the period between 1811 and 1820, when England was governed by a prince regent, since King George had gone mad and was declared unfit to rule.

More broadly, the term “Regency era” is used to talk about the late Georgian era through to the Victorian era, a span of time which had its own set of fashions and so forth. Constructed this way, “Regency era” is a subset of the “Georgian era” and can mean anytime between 1795 and 1835. 

Pride and Prejudice was published in 1813, but Jane Austen started writing it around 1795. 

We can say that Pride and Prejudice is set during the Georgian era or the Regency era, but it’s totally wrong to say that it’s set during the Victorian era. The Victorian era began in 1835 with Queen Victoria’s ascension to the throne—more than 20 years after Pride and Prejudice was published, and more than 40 years after Austen started writing it. That’s like saying that “The Matrix' characters are members of the Beat Generation, that cohort famous for their interest in Eastern religion and their black turtleneck wearing fashions.” Um, no.

This pedantic text post has been brought to you by my anal-retentive nature.

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