Have you really read Jane Eyre?

by Hannah Thomas

Girl reading REX

If you tell your friends you just love Pride and Prejudice but in fact have never quite managed to finish it, you're not alone.

Around 71 per cent of Britons claim to have read the classics in an attempt to sound more cultured and intelligent according to a study by Lindeman's Wine and Book Club.

It's men who fib more about their reading lists with 23 per cent admitting to lying about classics to impress a female, while women say they fear friends and colleagues judgement.

'Social etiquette is an important part of being British,' says David Miller, Director at Debrett's. 'We can't help but care how we are perceived by others.'

The study found less than half of Britons correctly identified Emily Bronte as the author of Wuthering Heights, many believing it to be Charles Dickens or the fictitious character Jane Eyre.

'It's notable men are most likely to bluff about books they've read in order to win over the fairer sex,' says Mr Miller.

'However, it's interesting women are most concerned about being judged by their female peers.'

We're also keen to show off on the move according to the study, with 23 per cent of Britons making sure they are seen with an impressive book.

Four in ten also confess to filling their bookshelves with classic works of literature purely for display purposes.

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