Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Pride and Prejudice

Over at "5 Minutes for Books" the topic is Pride and Prejudice. Alas. My heart flutters. I have been intimidated by Jane Austen for years. I thought only really brainy people read Jane Austen. Then, on a whim, I asked the King to buy me the complete and unabridged works of Jane Austen. We love to hit Barnes and Noble (aka The Library, as my toddler used to call it) on date night. This time, Jane Austen's complete works called out to me.

I read Sense and Sensibility first and finally got the hang of the language. I was right! Jane Austen is for brainy people, but those of us less endowed can still enjoy her works.

My next plunge into the Austen pool of verbosity came with Pride and Prejudice. I love these characters! I just wanted to shake some sense into Lydia and Kitty. I think being "boy crazy" is timeless. Mary is someone with whom I can completely relate. I'd much rather spend my time reflecting and thinking than traipsing off to a nearby town to gossip. And Mrs. Bennett! Where do I begin? Bless her sweet, ditzy heart. I think she truly loves her girls, but doesn't have enough good sense to value Lizzy's deep thoughts and Mary's reflections. It's all about superficiality with Mrs. Bennett: looks and boys. Jane is wonderful because she is beautiful and Lydia is beloved because she shares mom's penchant for a Red Coat.

As far is "first impressions" (as the book was first entitled), I don't think Lizzy's pride/prejudice struck me until 1/2 way through the book. I know, I'm a little slow. Watching Darcy's and Lizzy's characteristics being revealed is like watching an oceanliner turn about. It's a slow process. The passion displayed by both is really fun. I enjoy it because the King and I are so like this couple. King is not a prideful guy, but he is wonderfully passionate and strong in his convictions.

Some of my favorite lines:

Lizzy to Lady Catherine "Neither duty, nor honour, nor gratitude have any possible claim on me, in the present instance. No principle of either, would be violated by my marriage with Mr. Darcy."

Lizzy to Wickham: "But I think Mr. Darcy improves on acquaintance."

Lizzy to Mr. Bennett regarding Darcy: "I do, I do like him, " she replied with tears in her eyes, "I love him. Indeed he has no improper pride. He is perfectly amiable. You do not know what he really is; then pray do not pain me by speaking of him in such terms."

Mr. Bennett to Lizzy: "I could not have parted with you, my Lizzy, to anyone less worthy."


christinnjon said...

So glad you enjoyed the book! I didn't actually finish the book, but I have seen the A&E miniseries, so I know of it. It is very accurate to the book, including in dialogue. I am going to continue reading it. Happy reading!

Katybug said...

Isn't Mr. Bennett's words to his daughter so sweet? They make me cry. I've read a handful of Jane Austen books & have LOOOOVED them! If you haven't seen A&E's version of P&P, it would be a great thing to watch during one of your "all-alone-low-K+" weekends. It's a 6-hour miniseries & is almost word-for-word with the book. And yes, of COURSE I have it & would LOOOOOVE to share it!! It's WONDERFUL!!!

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

I'm glad you jumped in!

I see Mansfield Park on your bookshelf widget. That was the first Austen I read -- 2 years ago, because it was shortest. I enjoyed it too.