I feel a little silly writing a discussion about a classic like Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, but I have some things I’d like to say about it. Let’s get into it.
Well, hello, Mr. Darcy.
If you don’t know it by now, Jane Austen’s work continues to thrive because her characters are TIMELESS. I mean seriously. Have you ever wondered why there are so many theatrical adaptations done every few years? You can plop her characters into any time and create a story around them.
The misunderstandings between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy? Every person ever who misread a text/social media post/email. The only difference being communication lagged during the Regency era. Now the misunderstanding would happen much more quickly.
Pride and Prejudice and Girl Power
Elizabeth Bennet was the first strong female protagonist. (This is hyperbole. I just love Lizzie Bennet, and I will give her whatever accolades I want.) The scene where Catherine de Bourgh confronts Elizabeth about her supposed engagement to Mr. Darcy is perhaps one of my favorite scenes ever in literature. Even more, Elizabeth is standing up for herself in a time when women were little more than property. If this isn’t a timeless quality, I don’t know what is.
You Had Me at Bewitched
I would like someone out there to make a loop of Mr. Darcy quotes read by Benedict Cumberbatch. Please? I already have Mike Rowe reading a phone book. I don’t think this is too much to ask.
But let’s seriously talk about the dialogue here. Austen is known for her sharp pen, but I think she dialed it up by a hundred in Pride and Prejudice.
I was in the middle before I knew I had begun.Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Did you just swoon? I think this classic should come with a warning label.
The Thing About Audiobooks
I’ve toted the benefits of audiobooks many times on this book blog, and I’ll do so again here. The storytelling in Pride and Prejudice is actually literally different than how we understand story now. This can make Pride and Prejudice (and other classics) hard for people of modern times to actually read. As in, your brain will not understand it because it’s not how stories are told now.
One method I’ve found of getting over this hurdle is through audiobooks. When you hear the story instead of read it, the words change to theater, and your brain absorbs it differently. I recently listened to the version of Pride and Prejudice as read by Kate Beckinsale and highly recommend it.
Whatever you must do to do it, read a Jane Austen novel. Any of them. But my sincere favorite is Pride and Prejudice. Or maybe Sense and Sensibility. Or maybe Persuasion…
Just go read it.