Shockingly, I have not heard universal agreement on this point. But it is the most brilliantly written work of fiction I have ever read. So I haven't read everything, but I've read a lot, and Pride and Prejudice remains my favorite! The language is a little tough at times, and I'll admit I even get confused in a few passages, but the story is just wonderful. I love it because even though it was written two hundred years ago, the characters are just as real as if they lived today. Of course, no one today would say, "You could not have made me the offer of your hand in any possible way that would have tempted me to accept it," but it's so much fun to read! I love the scenes between Elizabeth's parents, the well-bred teasing between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, and even the stupidity of Mr. Collins is enjoyable in its own way. I love how Elizabeth and Darcy evolve over the course of the book, and become better people for having known, hated, and loved each other. I love how complicated the story is, but how it all works out for the best in the end. There is so much that happens. People are constantly traveling all over the country, visiting here and there, falling in love, sometimes behaving badly, and finally getting married. And underneath it all is a lively sense of the ridiculous that keeps the reader smiling even in the darker moments. And the romance is the best part, of course. No two people are more perfect for each other, even if it takes Elizabeth over half the book to realize it.
It's no wonder that Jane Austen is still so popular today. I've never attempted reading any of the spin-offs that people have written recently, because no one could capture those characters as well as she did. But now I've gotten into a habit of reading Pride and Prejudice about once a year, and all my favorite parts are practically memorized. I have two copies of the book and two more on my Amazon wish list. I know, I'm one of those crazy people, but I just can't help it. Every time I read it I live in a happy glow for days. I just love this book!