Day 4….Jane Austen Week……….Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice, the most popular novel Jane Austen wrote is included in The Collected Works of Jane Austen by Jane Austen, Penguin Press edition, which is our book of the week. While I enjoy this novel it’s not my favorite and I’m left with mixed feelings every time I read it. It’s good, full of Miss Austen’s usual romantic prose, with plenty of plot twists and turns, and characters who seem to live and breathe with reactions like normal people. But it’s conclusion is almost a bit to hard for me to condone. I can’t see Elizabeth Bennett forgiving Mr Darcy all he’s done, and said enough to marry him. Even if she loves him and he loves her. Quite simply at best he is and remains a pompous ass throughout the book, granted, not as much as the Reverend Mr Collins, but one none the less.
Elizabeth is the second oldest of the seven Bennett sisters. They have concerns for their future since their father’s estate is entailed away from them on their father’s demise. It will go to their cousin, the obnoxious cousin Mr Collins. Jane, Elizabeth’s older sister, has become quite taken with a gentleman who’s moved into the area, Mr Bingley, who’s sister is befriending Jane in order to sabotage her interest in her brother. Jane. however, is one who cannot see any bad in anyone, and is falling for it. To the point where, between Mr Darcy and Mr Bingley’s sister, he is taken away from the: country to London, believing that Jane doesn’t really love hiim.
Elizabeth and Mr Darcy have gotton off on the wrong foot from their first meeting, where Elizabeth, having heard a contemptuous conversation by Darcy, puts him down rather forcefully. Many twist and turns, including what can only be described as an insulting marriage proposal from Darcy to Elizabeth, the second youngest sister eloping with a military officer and running off, Mr Darcy working behind the scenes to make Captain Wickham do the right thing by Elizabeth’s younger sister. This all causing Elizabeth’s change of mind toward Darcy. There is also the matter of Darcy thinking her family low class and below him.. Darcy makes one last attempt to convince Elizabeth to marry him, and since she has realized he intervened only because of her, surprisingly accepts him. And becomes Mrs. Darcy. Jane, having been properly reunited with Mr Bingley, marries him as well.
One other thing I will say is that there have been several film adaptions of this book. The only one I really like is the one made back in the forties with Greer Garson as Elizabeth Bennett. The other’s take too many liberties with Miss Austen’s beautiful, lush writing.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, included in The Collected Works of Jane Austen is Highly Recommended. Though not my most favorite.