This is probably the most worn book I own! Even my Harry Potters are in a better condition than this one and I can’t even begin to count the times I have read them. This particular book however is a lot older…it’s a bit of a hand me down! I do want really nice copies of all my Jane Austen’s but I do like that three generations have read this book.
I read Pride and Prejudice for the first time about ten years ago and have read it countless times since. I think most people are aware of the story or have at least heard of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy! But unless you’ve read the book I don’t think you realise Austen’s humour, her unique characters and her ability to tap into the dynamics of relationships, all of which are just as relevant now as they were then.
Perhaps that is why this novel stands the test of time, Lizzy and Mr Darcy transcend time and culture…as evidenced in Bridget Jones’s Diary! Lizzy is strong and independent, clever and unapologetic. She fits into her own vision and no one else’s. Mr Darcy on the other hand is not quite so amiable! However he is a proud and honourable man who shows the same compassion and love for his friends and family as Lizzy does.
Their complicated and volatile relationship is so intriguing to read. But more than that is Elizabeth’s struggle with her own feelings, I think as a reader you witness her falling in love long before she comes to that realisation.
This book is full of colourful characters, especially Mrs Bennet! The shear ridiculousness of her is so over the top and yet completely believable at the same time. I think Alison Steadman’s portrayal of her in the BBC dramatisation is just spot on! Despite her faults she loves her daughters…I’m sure!
If you haven’t read it, read it! If you have then read it again. This book manages to make me smile, cry and laugh which few books can do at the same time.
‘It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.’
– Jane Austen