This is not review because I feel like I am literally the last person on earth to read this classic! Instead I thought I’d share my expectations because prior to reading the book I’d heard so much about it, and also include my thoughts! (There may be some spoilers ahead, so if you still haven’t read it yet, wait you haven’t read it yet? I’m not alone!)
- Let me start by saying that I did not expect to find the dialect an issue. I’ve heard so much about the book but not once that it’s written in old English so I had no ideaaaaa!
- I had the general idea that it was a romance novel because I knew of a love story involving the famous Mr Darcy. (The amount of memes of Colin Firth as Mr Darcy I have seen on instagram is ridiculous!)
- Mr Darcy at the beginning, I was so confused, am I reading the right book? He’d been described as such a gentleman and girls all around the world are STILL swooning over him, within the first 10 pages I’m like huuuuuh? This guy is an idiot!
- The main barrier for me at the beginning was the fact that it was written in old English. I honestly didn’t expect this to have such an impact at the pace in which I was reading. For example the age twenty-one is actually one and twenty, which for the first 100 pages I was like, what is this witchcraft? Having said that though, I didn’t expect to adjust to it as quickly as I did, literally from one-sitting to the next I felt like it was much easier to read quicker than before. Also I think that it was a barrier because I consider myself quite a fast reader, so I tried to read it at the same pace I usually do and I was just a bit frustrated when it just wasn’t happening.
- Mr Darcy is an arsewipe until almost over halfway through the book. The confusion I was going through…I saw that the storyline was progressing, but from our viewpoint he’s still a pompous prick.
- For a romance novel it’s got a lot going on, I don’t mean it’s an action packed thriller, but she adds minor events that help you understand the characters more e.g. Mr Collins’ proposal to Elizabeth Bennet. Jane Austen has a way of slowly getting the reader acquainted to the setting, characters and relationships that you could read it 1000 years in the future but still be able to immerse yourself in her novel. It also has a very authentic feel to it, the emotions and dialogue feel very real even if the reader may never experience these situations in their lifetime. It may be down to the main character Elizabeth Bennet who’s very blunt and straightforward so we tend to connect with her more!
- I really loved that it touched on some serious topics that were common at the time period, e.g. every family strived for the right marriage with a financial/status gain and a girls’ reputation is all she has! It also allowed us to explore a toxic society where idle gossip was enough for the whole village to condemn an individual. I mention this because I am someone who really loves historical fiction, and especially interested in court settings, so I have read/watched about similar ideas (I am by no means an expert, actually didn’t enjoy studying history in school, which doesn’t make sense…) but I’m rarely able to connect with the environment and the characters as I did in this novel.
After reading this I’m really interested in reading more of Jane Austens work , though I’ve heard it doesn’t get better than Pride and Prejudice… Hopefully I’ll start reading classics again. What are some of your favourite classics that you would recommend?