February 11th, 2021
Do you have that book you’ve reread more times than any other? A book you love so much you can’t go a year without revisiting it? Pride and Prejudice is that book for me. It’s the first classic (and adult book?) I read when I was 15, and it propelled my reading taste to what it is today. It’s remained a firm favourite ever since.
| Published: 1813 |
| Genre: Classic Romance |
| Age: Adult |
| Length: 279 Pages |
| ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ |
In regency England, ‘it is a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of good fortune must be in want of a wife.’ At least, that’s what the Bennet’s hope for when Mr Bingley, a rich and pleasant bachelor, moves to their kneck of the woods. With him comes Mr Darcy, who doesn’t make so good a first impression, especially to Elizabeth Bennet.
Pride and Prejudice gives an intricate but entertaining insight into the life of the middle/upper class in regency England. The famous first sentance, ‘It is universally acknowledged that a man in posession of good fortune must be in want of a wife,’ sets off the whole theme of the book perfectly. Marriage. It’s the thought that constantly hangs over the Bennet sisters (and their mothers) heads. To marry and marry well.
Her business in life was to get her daughters married; it’s solace was visiting and news.
It’s an anxiety driven thought explored so well by Austen, bringing to light the position she and her sister themselves were in. She and the Bennets shared the same misfortune of being women, and, due to their position, these girls would lose their family home and money to the closest male relative when their father dies. With few opportunities to earn money themselves, they must rely on marrying well in order to avoid destitution. It’s this thought that drives all of their actions.
‘Jane will be quite an old maid soon, I declare. She is almost three-and-twenty! Lord how ashamed I should be not being married before three-and-twenty!’
Except for Elizabeth Bennet, the second youngest Bennet sister and main protagonist in this novel. She is one of my favourite characters to read. She’s quick witted and not afraid to say what she thinks, putting more than one character in their place throughout the course of this novel. She’s also strong willed, and seeks more from marriage than just security.
“you give your opinion very decidedly for so young a person – Pray, what is your age?”
“With three younger sisters grown up,” replied Elizabeth smiling, “your ladyship can hardly expect me to own to it.”
She’s an incredibly written heroine with so much depth and personality. You’ll feel as though she’s a friend by the end of the book. Then there’s her love interest Mr Darcy. I think it’s collectively agreed upon that Mr Darcy is one of the most swoon worthy fictional characters ever written. He doesn’t make the best first impression, but Austen so cleverly plots this book that you find you’ve fallen in love with him the same moment Elizabeth has.
It’s one of the first hate to love romances and the tension between them builds so perfectly. This book has one of the most romantic (and slightly misguided) declarations of love I know.
“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”
Before annotating this book, it had kind of escaped my notice how funny Pride and Prejudice is! I knew it had it’s moments, but it was only when I found myself picking up the orange (the colour allocated for funny moments) gel pen, time and time again that I realised just how often Austen has her characters saying and doing the funniest things. Her quick wit is unmatched!
This will forever remain a favourite, and I strongly contest it is one of the best books ever written. A must read for absolutely everyone!