“One of the most universally loved and admired English novels, Pride and Prejudice was penned as a popular entertainment. But the consummate artistry of Jane Austen (1775–1817) transformed this effervescent tale of rural romance into a witty, shrewdly observed satire of English country life that is now regarded as one of the principal treasures of English language.
In a remote Hertfordshire village, far off the good coach roads of George III’s England, a country squire of no great means must marry off his five vivacious daughters. At the heart of this all-consuming enterprise are his headstrong second daughter Elizabeth Bennet and her aristocratic suitor Fitzwilliam Darcy — two lovers whose pride must be humbled and prejudices dissolved before the novel can come to its splendid conclusion.”
My Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 1/2
I was first exposed to the brilliance of Pride and Prejudice several years ago when I happened upon my parents watching the 1995 BBC version late one night. I drifted into the kitchen to steal some snacks but was intrigued by the scenery in the show. So, I stopped and watched a bit of it, trying to allow my eleven year old mind to make sense of the highly ornamented style of speech. I got the hang of it after a few minutes and decided I would like to watch the entirety of it. And thus began my ardent love for Jane Austen and her work of art, Pride and Prejudice.
I first read P&P when I was in high school and I was shocked to see how well the BBC version adapted the novel into film. It was so similar! And do I really need to mention the perfect casting of Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy?
I’m in love with the BBC adaptation of the novel, but the novel itself is possibly Jane Austen’s best, or rather, her most beloved. Elizabeth is a witty and independent heroine that any modern woman can relate to, and Mr. Darcy is a lovably misunderstood yet prideful gentleman whose awkwardness is most certainly endearing to a good number of Austenites (and Janeites). Mr. Bennet’s dry humor is pure amusement and his sarcastic remarks against his silly wife, Mrs. Bennet, always inspire a good chuckle.
Austen is skillful in creating an array of characters that are distinctive in their personalities. She is masterful in creating silly characters, such as Mr. Collins, Lydia Bennet, and Lady Catherine de Bourgh, whose ridiculousness acts as memorable highlights in the book. I adored every single character and the roles that they played, including gentle Jane Bennet, charming Mr. Bingley, arrogant Caroline Bingley, ridiculous Kitty Bennet, bland Mary Bennet, practical Charlotte Lucas, and best of all, wicked Mr. Wickham.
The dialogue is carefully crafted among the characters, the scenery is painted with a sense of familiarity, the characters are vibrant, and the romance is top-notch. My only complaint about this book is that there are several dull moments in the second half of the plot following Mr. Darcy’s failed proposal; but other than that, I have a very hard time finding fault with this wonderful period romance. The plot is nothing too serious and not very difficult to follow. And like her other novels, Pride and Prejudice holds the charm of nostalgia, allowing us to be transported to a time we have never seen within our lifetimes.
I encourage everyone to read Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. And for all those who don’t hold much interest in the classics or Jane Austen in particular but are still curious, I urge you to allow Pride and Prejudice to be your first classic or to be your first Austen novel. Let it be your first. Let it be your last. No matter the case, just let it be read.