Monday, August 1, 2011

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is a book I adore reading occasionally. I inevitably fall in love with this novel every time.  Truth is, this novel gave me a temporary delusional belief that I might like romance novels.  No.  I like Jane Austen.  Apparently in my inclination for the genre begins and ends with her.  And this one is my favorite.  I can’t even say how  many times I’ve read it at this point nor can I explain how every time I read it I am charmed all over again.

I wish I had bought a copy of this novel, an inexpensive paperback version, and made a habit of marking my favorite quotes, the ones that make me laugh, with a date in the margin.  This way I could track those things that made me smile previously. 

In reading Sense and Sensibility before reading Pride and Prejudice, I can fully appreciate the growth of her talent from one novel to the next.  What the former hints at, this one shows to full advantage.  The touch of irony that borders nearly on sarcasm is delicious.  I adore Elizabeth Bennett and her father is wonderful.  I’ve never done more than like Jane but I liked her a bit more this time, perhaps because I saw her more through Elizabeth’s eyes.  And never has Lydia seemed more selfish and foolish nor Mr Collins more odious. 

And Mr Darcy.  He is so perfect.  I love his seeming arrogance and his inability to let down his walls.  Above all else, I love his compassion, which only comes out later in the novel. I know that I’ll be revisiting this novel time and again and fall in love with him each and every time.  

I wonder who first discovered the efficacy of poetry in driving away love.  (33)

I read this as part of the Classic Bribe.  I plan on reading Mansfield Park next, reading Austen in the order in which she was published.  Perhaps someday I'll give Bibi a copy with a pen and tell her to mark her favorite quotes with a date in the margin, so she can follow her appreciation as it changes and grows upon rereading.  I love this book so much!


  1. While I applaud the fact that you like Austen...I could never get into her work...romance novels regardless of who writes them have never appealed to me...Give me aliens or spies or alien spies and I am good!

  2. You'll be much happier with my reading choices next year, I'm sure, as I plan to immerse myself in the Wheel of Time books, reread Lord of the Rings, and once again allow testosterone into my book choices.

    As for me, women who think that romance and love and marriage are all that matter in life . . .doesn't get anymore alien than that!

  3. I never tried reading Robert Jordan...maybe I should look into those and as for the Lord of The Rings...well I have to reread the Hobbit so I can bemoan how badly the adaptation is.

  4. No no no bemoaning.

    And if you can hold off on reading Jordan until January, I know I'm going to jump into them on New Year's Day. Beginning with the prequel The New Spring, which I've already read. In fact, I think I've read the first eight books but stopped when I realized I was reading them faster than they were being published.

  5. I've lost count as to how many times I started to read P+P only to lose interest and eventually give up. Don't get me wrong, I'm a sucker for a good romance but Austen just doesn't do it for me. Perhaps one day...

  6. Jason, I am not a sucker for a romance. In fact, I'm so far from it that I can't even see it from my window . . . with a telescope. But Austen's subtle irony and the snarky comments she allows her readers to make, especially in P&P, always make me laugh.

    You have to admit, that one about poetry ruining love is a good one! Goodness knows some of the poetry I've written has done nothing less.

  7. Guess I'm just a big softie then, haha. Considering that I have never finished the novel, my opinion is probably rendered inconsequential but for me, a good romance novel should establish some kind of tangible, complex intimacy between the characters but with P&P, I found that it spends most of the time on the surface. The characters seemed to lack any depth and come across as dull.

    Austen's use of irony is definitely humorous and witty at times but it comes across a little too mean-spirited for my tastes. Is it not contradictory that she is condemns female misogyny in society only to have Elizabeth marry Mr. Darcy and live happily ever after? I have no evidence to support this claim so perhaps I should just read the book already! :P

    I will agree that the quote about poetry is a shrewd observation that made me laugh. I sure learned my lesson in the past of attempting to woo females by reciting poetry or writing sonnets for them declaring my affection. Bad, bad, idea. >.<

  8. I don't know that Austen ever condemned misogyny but I may be mistaken about that. I know that Elizabeth marrying a man above her class was a daring move on Austen's part but typical of the whole fairy tale ending that I suppose audiences expect from women writers. I wouldn't recommending investing time in reading it but if you can ever see a film version that allows Mr Bennett to be sarcastic rather than sincere, you might be able to impress a woman by suggesting you watch it together. She'll think you're sensitive and you can try to find the sarcastic moments in the dialogue.


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