Friday, 7 January 2011
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I've been saying to myself for the last few years that I should really reread more, but then I always get distracted by those new unread books sitting on the shelf. So this year I'm going to try some rereading, especially of books that I read in uni and didn't really get the time to appreciate.
I thought I'd start off with a real classic which I first read whan I was 16, Pride and Prejudice was probably my first 'classic' and it was a great introduction to the canon.
A quick plot summary for anyone who has managed to miss this: The Bennets are 5 sisters living in Regency England all in search of a husband. The two sensible sisters, Elizabeth and Jane are hindered by their silly younger siblings, inadequate parents and relative who are just mere lawyers and not aristocracy! At a ball Elizabeth meets the rude obnoxious Mr Darcy and Jane the lovely Bingley. After this the novel is about the way these two relationships play out and a whole bunch of wonderful other stuff.
This is my third or fourth reading of the novel and I've seen a few filmed versions so the story is pretty much already set in my mind. What I loved about this rereading was looking at the way that Austen unraveled the relationships, the twists and turns that they took. And also the knowledge of the comments that Elizabeth makes when we know her future. Along with this is the whole Regency feel; the balls and dinners, the country walks and endless journeys, the dresses and letters - all things pretty much lost in the modern art of finding a man.
Elizabeth's family in itself produce an interesting study, although you do wonder how Elizabth's sensibility, Jane's niceness and Mary's intellect developed with such a silly mother and disinterested father.
I'm now tempted to dig out the BBC boxset and indulge over the next week or so, plus Mr Darcy coming out the river is a great way of banishing the blues caused by our miserable weather!