Monday, October 29, 2012

"Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen

Last summer, I bought a journal with Jane Austen quotes sprinkled throughout it.  It put me in such a mood to re-read Austen's novels that I went and bought a box set of all her completed novels.  In paperback, but they're trade paperbacks, not pocket ones, so good enough.  And then I never managed to start reading them.  But when I read P.D. James' Death Comes to Pemberley this year, I knew The Time Had Come to start my journey through Austenland.

I began with Pride and Prejudice.  Seemed logical, since I wanted to compare it to James' mystery.  I'd only read it once before, I think while I was in college and in love with the movie You've Got Mail, which references it.  I wasn't a big fan, and for years my favorite Austen novel had been Persuasion.  When I was in college, I watched the British version of P&P starring Colin Firth, and I did like the Keira Knightley/Matthew Macfadyen version pretty well, as I mentioned here and here a few years ago.  But I didn't particularly love the story.

What was wrong with me?

In case you're not up on your Austen, this is the one where Elizabeth Bennet spends most of the book disliking Mr. Darcy because she finds him proud and cold.  Mr. Darcy spends most of the book trying to convince himself he shouldn't love Lizzy because her family is unsuitable.

What can I say about this book that hasn't already been said a hundred times, and said better than I ever can?  Not much.  I'm amazed by Austen's ability to make ordinary people so compelling.  I so admire her grasp of how details and small events build up to bring about important changes in hearts, minds, and lives.  And I'm intrigued by her ability to allow a book's events unfold slowly and yet keep me enthralled.

Also, I'm totally in love with Mr. Darcy now.  Just FYI.

(Originally posted on Hamlette's Soliloquy on Jun 14, 2012.)

2 comments:

  1. I love this book. :) And btw...it's Matthew Macfadyen. But the Colin Firth version is SOOO much better...IMHO... :) As you know, I believe.

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    Replies
    1. Sigh. You're right! Angus Macfadyen is a completely different actor, one I've liked ever since he played Robert the Bruce in Braveheart, and my brain/fingers substituted him. I'll fix that ;-) Thanks!

      I rewatched the Colin Firth version after writing this post originally, back in June, and I liked it a great deal, but I still like the other better. Guess we'll just have to agree to disagree!

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