Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice is a novel by Jane Austin first published on 1813-01-28. The story is set in England in 1812 and follows the Bennet family as they interact with their friends, neighbors, and potential husbands for the Bennet daughters. A large part of the story revolves around social manners, and how they often mask a person's true identity with superficial kindness contrasted with how an ill-mannered person can have genuine kindness.
I decided to read this book in order to better acquaint myself with female authors and famous literature. I knew about how famous Austin is, and have seen film adaptions of some of the books before reading this. I haven't seen an adaption of Pride and Prejudice, but I did wee Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which actually helped me follow the plot.
I don't own this book, but I finished the Kate Reading audio book on 2019-11-05.
— This section contains spoilers! —
- The entailed estate being sought after by William Collins sets up some interesting tension and urgency, although, not much ever comes from it.
- The book paints a pretty clear picture of what life was like for semi-rich English people in the early 1800s. Although, since I know little about that time period, I can't speak to the accuracy.
- I do like the large vocabulary employed by Austin, and it's especially impressive for such a young author.
- Some of the characters are interesting in a despicable sort of way (Lady Catherine de Bourgh and William Collins are both particularly wretched), but I found most of them to be either dull or obnoxious. Mrs. Bennet, for example, is downright annoying.
- Mr. Darcy is presumed to be a scoundrel because he is so standoffish and ill-mannered, then Elizabeth learns that he isn't quite as bad as she thought he was, but, the reality is, even with her incorrect presumptions aside, he's still highly classist and selfish. The good things he does are not because he cares for people he deems below his station, but because he's trying to impress a woman.
- Elizabeth, becomes ashamed of herself for so quickly dismissing Mr. Darcy as a rogue and trusting Wickham, and vows to be less judgmental. Lesson learned, right? Nope! She immediately trusts Mr. Darcy's horrible opinion of Wickham before seeing any proper evidence.
- The oft-repeated claim that Elizabeth should "fix" Mr. Darcy's faults is quite misguided.
- I found the ending to drag on and on, only to abruptly stop with little fanfare.
- I had a very difficult time keeping straight the many characters. Austin provides almost no physical descriptions of any of them, so I never developed a picture of anyone in my head. Without a picture, I could never put a face to a name, and, through most of the book, I was mixing up characters.
- The book is dreadfully dull. It's several hundred pages of a drawn out gossip with some puritan romance thrown in. I stuck with it because the book is so revered, but I found it to be a waste of my time.