Pride and Prejudice

This book review does contain spoilers as I could not write the review without them.


Title: Pride and Prejudice

Author: Jane Austen

Published: Originally 28th January 1813, there has been many editions of Pride and Prejudice released over the years.

Genre: Romance, Fiction, Drama and novel of manners

Number of pages: 490

Start Date: 3rd February 2022

Finish Date: 7th February 2022


Summary

Pride and Prejudice is a novel written by Jane Austen, it was published anonymously in three volumes in 1813. It centres on the burgeoning relationship between Elizabeth Bennet, the daughter of a country gentleman and the novel’s heroine, and Fitzwilliam Darcy, an aristocratic landowner.


It is set in rural England at the turn of the 19th century, and it follows the Bennet family, which includes five very different sisters, all of whom their mother is keen to see suitably married. The intersections of these sisters with several eligible bachelors drive the action of the novel. Despite initial friction between them, Elizabeth eventually accepts Darcy’s proposal of marriage.


Review

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is one of my favourite books of all time! This book truly has the best of all worlds, a wonderful romance, lovable characters, humour, and beautiful writing.


Pride and Prejudice is the story of a young woman in the 1800's, Elizabeth Bennet. The Bennet family has five daughters, and in an age where the only thing women could do was marry rich, all the girls are pressured to find wealthy matches to secure the family's comfort. Elizabeth, however, refuses to marry the first man that comes along, and only marry when for love.


She meets brooding, silent, proud and very rich Mr. Darcy, who at first has no interest in Elizabeth. Over time, he begins to fall in love with her wit and charm. Elizabeth thinks Darcy is the last man she could ever marry, but through the course of the novel, begins to see that her prejudices towards him are fake and that he is a true gentleman who is only shy. The question remains; will they overcome their pride and prejudices and get married?


I'm not a huge fan of 'classical classics' where the writing style is dull and hard to understand. I was so pleased to find that this is not the case with Austen's writing style. I enjoyed every single page of this wonderful novel, and truly did not want it to end!


From the opening lines of “any man in possession of a large fortune must be in want of a wife” comes one of the most memorable novels in the history of the world.

Pride and Prejudice was a trailblazing book, not least because it has served as the template for every romance novel and Mills & Boon written since. The countless book and screen adaptations of Pride and Prejudice speak to a story that has universal appeal, its characters and plot line appearing in everything from Bridget Jones’s Diary to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. But Pride and Prejudice is more than just a happily-ever-after story.


Set in the early 1800s, in the fictional town of Merton, live the Bennett family, who are comfortably well off with a family of five daughters. However, there is one misfortune; there is no son. This is because the house must have a male heir, so the daughters cannot inherit it. Therefore, they have to marry or live off a male relative, or the final option was to become a governess, which was not glamorous. Although it must have been possible to change the will so the women could inherit, it would ruin the story. Therefore Mrs Bennett, their silly empty-headed mother, is obsessed with marrying them off.


The daughters are: 22 year old Jane, the most beautiful young woman in the neighbourhood, who is sweet, kind and sensible but thinks well of everyone and is rather naive. Then there is 20 year old Elizabeth, mostly known as Lizzie or sometimes Eliza, who is the heroine of the novel and witty, clever and lively, but not as beautiful as Jane. Both sister’s want to marry for love, as they can’t stand the idea of an unromantic marriage. However, one of the daughters must marry very well, and love in marriage was of little consequence in those days.


Lizzie is much like her father in the fact that they both like to laugh at ridiculous things. However, she is sensible, but has the misfortune to make hasty judgements. Then there is Mary who is 18 /19 years old, who thinks she is accomplished but isn’t, and quotes things from boring books and plays and sings awfully. Then there is 17 year old Kitty, who is silly and empty headed, and 15 year old Lydia, the youngest, silliest and the most man obsessed of them all. Therefore when Charles Bingley; a young gentleman with large fortunes, comes into the neighbourhood, she gets very excited.


They first meet him at a ball, and he and Jane soon fall in love. He is the male version of Jane, but this romance is looked down on by his sisters who think he could do better. His even richer friend, 28 year old Fitzwilliam Darcy, is one of the richest men in Derbyshire, but finds himself against his own principles attracted to Lizzie.


However, he is repulsed by her awful family and lack of connections, and the neighbourhood and particularly Lizzie find him snobby and arrogant. Meanwhile, Mr Collins, heir to their house Longbourne, is a 25 year old pompous cousin of theirs and a clergyman (Jane Austen seems to be fond of poking fun at clergymen).


Mrs Bennett sets her eyes on a marriage between him and Lizzie, who will have none of it. A regiment of soldiers soon come into Merton, and Kitty and Lydia go wild. Lizzie finds herself attracted to a handsome young officer George Wickham, but why do he and Mr Darcy dislike each other so much? Will Lizzie ever like Mr Darcy, and is he as terrible as seems? Are George Wickham’s stories true, or is there more to him than meets the eye?


I think the plot is very witty and amusing, and it is an interesting insight into what women’s life was like at the time. Equally, I love the wonderful and spirited Lizzie Bennett, with her wit and humour. Also, I like the way the Bennett’s are portrayed, and the way Mrs Bennett is obsessed with marrying the daughters off, and how Mr Bennett and the daughters put up with it. I also like the way Jane Austen makes fun of people. She pokes fun at Lady Catherine, who is Mr Darcy’s aunt, and she ridicules the upper class all the time.


I am praying that when my children go to school they will learn about Jane Austen and her novels. I would recommend this book to anyone; fans of romance, family-oriented stories, comedies, fans of classics, and even reluctant readers of classics who would like an easy gateway into the world of classic novels.


Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


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