136. Pride and Prejudice- Jane Austen

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Title: Pride and Prejudice

Author: Jane Austen

Rating: ★★★★

On the Shelves: Fiction> Classics

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s witty comedy of manners–one of the most popular novels of all time–that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues (Goodreads 2014)

I decided since I mistakenly never posted this review at the end of my Austen August marathon (whoops!!), this would be a good way to round off my blogging 2014 year- to actually post it! Only 4 months late but you know, better late than never.

Pride and Prejudice is arguably one of the best loved British novels, and most well known novels of all time. If you say you’ve never read it or god forbid, disliked it, you get gasps and looks of shock from those who feel otherwise. I first tried reading it when I was around 15, struggled and gave up at chapter 7, when Jane gets sent by scheming Mrs Bennet to visit the Bingley’s in the rain so she gets a cold. After studying Austen at A level, I went back to read it and absolutely loved it. After 3 years, I felt it was time for a re-read and decided to use it as a blogging session readalong- which went down fantastically, many thanks to all those who participated. You can find the goodreads discussion group, the chapter summaries and discussion boards, at this link- they are all still live with the intention of staying that way for those who want to read along with the discussions in the future.

Austen is known for being quite ahead of her time, and also for being quite cynical about the society in her time. At first, reading Austen does feel like it could simply be classed as the hashtag #whitepeopleproblems. All about these rich white women, mostly upperclass, whose biggest problems concern finiding a husband. But I feel there is a lot more to these novels than Mr Darcy and dowries. Lizzie Bennet is much like a more developed version of Catherine Morland. Both long for adventure (IN THE GREAT WIDE SOMEWHERE~, sorry), and for their lives to be more than just being married off to the highest bidder. They are both heroines ahead of their time and fully enjoyable to read about. Pride and Prejudice is obviously about the trials and tribulations of the relationship between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy. But it is also about the Bennet’s family relations and the bizarre power structure of the Society at that time. How easily a family reputation can be brought to the ground and shattered because of one little decision, and the overbearing mother who can’t leave well enough alone and is constantly scheming to match make her daughters

One of my comment statuses actually sums this up: “This book should actually be called “Why rumours are bad…”.”

All throughout this book, I was laughing (mostly at Mr Bennet, Mrs Bennet and Mrs Bennet’s nerves) and sighing at how lovely Darcy is (seriously, if you love him in the dramas, then read the book because my god.) While the book itself is by no means flawless, I really do find it enjoyable and emotional and in my opinion, it deserves all the praise it gets!

Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, Vanity to what we would have others think of us

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