Saturday, September 29, 2018

Pride & Prejudice: Review

Pride & Prejudice (1813) by Jane Austen is probably Austen's most well-known book. People who don't read (or read much) are familiar with it through the various films and television versions. I'm not going to give an in depth run-down of the plot. In a nutshell, Mr. & Mrs. Bennett have five marriageable daughters that they hope to see well-situated as soon as possible. Miss Elizabeth Bennett meets the eligible, but seemingly haughty Mr. Darcy and things get off to a rocky start. After various misunderstandings and various opportunities for Miss Bennett to learn Darcy's true nature, love (as it tends to) finds a way.

P & P is not my all-time favorite Austen book (that honor belongs to Persuasion) but it is in my top three. I thoroughly enjoy a good British comedy of manners and Austen is the master of the genre--weaving romance and witty conversation into delightful plots of misunderstanding. I really do feel like giving Lizzie Bennett a good shake, though, when she decides to listen whole-heartedly to Wickham's wicked assertions--just because he is so charming and easy to be in company with. 

But after all, that is one of Austen's themes in this story. Miss Bennett learns that first impressions aren't always best and sometimes appearances can be deceiving. It would serve a lady well to look beyond the superficial and dig deeper to find the true worth of her companions. But she isn't the only one to learn a few essential truths--both she and Mr. Darcy also learn to recognize their own faults and work to correct them. Of course, all of this is working itself out through a good old-fashioned love story where Miss Bennett and Mr. Darcy must overcome obstacles (mostly of their own making) to reach their happily-ever-after ending. 

I read this quite some time ago when a friend was astonished that I had not yet done so (Persuasion--read in college--was my only foray into Austen's work at the time). I was delighted with Austen's light touch and witty Regency dialogue then and enjoyed it just as much this time around. ★★★★

[Finished 9/18/18]


Becky said...

Persuasion is my favorite Austen too.

Barbara H. said...

Persuasion is my favorite Austen book, too! I had seen the Colin Firth movie version of P&P but had not read the book until a few years ago. I didn't like it all the first time through, but grew to love it in subsequent readings. I need to go through Austen's books again some time.

Major said...

I've yet to read Persuasion but I'm looking forward tp re-reading P&P. Lizzie is a delight, probably my favorite character in fiction, just after Priscilla Stanbury in He Knew He Was Right.