Pride & Prejudice (Jane Austen)
Category: Classic Literature
Synopsis (Goodreads): First published in 1813, “Pride and Prejudice,” Jane Austen’s witty comedy of manners – one of the most popular novels of all time – tells the story of Mr and Mrs Bennet’s five unmarried daughters after the rich and eligible Mr Bingley and his status-conscious friend, Mr Darcy, have moved into their neighbourhood.
I recently re-read P&P for a book club discussion, and per usual, as soon as I read that famous first line, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife”, I got the warmth and comfort that comes from settling down on an easy chair with a hot drink and a warm blanket for a long overdue catch-up with the closest of friends.
I don’t think there are any two other characters in literature as beloved to me as Eliza Bennett and Mark Darcy and every time I return to P&P I feel like I get something different from the book based on my state of mind and stage of life.
From the very first scene in which Mrs Bennett badgers Mr Bennett to call on the neighbourhood’s newest eligible bachelor, right through to the satisfying ending, Austen introduces you to a memorable and compelling cast of characters that you will love, love to hate, and even downright hate!
This is a book that, for me, has everything – it is beautifully written with a well-paced storyline and an amazing variety of characters. It is full of vivid descriptions, witty dialogues and memorable encounters. It’s the very definition of a classic because it’s stood the test of time with ideas and arguments running through the story as relevant today as they were when the novel was first published over 100 years ago.
Themes such as how family background, financial implications and society all still influence relationships and marriages (although I do think this degree of influence varies across cultures and countries); how the actions of one individual can have far reaching consequences especially those who are near and dear; and above all how important our relationships with our families, with society, and with ourselves are to the lives we live and the manner in which we live them.
Male or female, 13 or 30…read this book, fall in love with it…and then read it again and again!