Pride & Prejudice: My thoughts…

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!)

My expectations:

  • 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!

My thoughts:

  • 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?

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27 thoughts on “Pride & Prejudice: My thoughts…

  1. Mike Finn says:

    I agree with the recommendation to read Emma. I’ve enjoyed all of Austen’s books except “Mansfield Park”. Listening to the audiobook version, especially when read by an English actress, may ease your difficulty with the cadence and syntax of Austen’s English.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kabrown4 says:

    And here I come in on reading all the comments, and I would recommend Mansfield Park, which I absolutely loved, because it portrays another aspect of life that women had put up with; that of a dependant, a poor relation sent to live with her richer Aunt and Uncle. Also Sense and Sensibility is fab.
    Personally I couldn’t get into Emma, and to this day I’ve never managed to finish it and I have no idea what happens.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Emma Evans says:

    I loved Pride and Prejudice as well! I definitely about what you said about the writing being easy to immerse yourself in! I recently picked up Persuasion by Jane Austen and I am enjoying it so far, but I haven’t read anymore of her works. If you are looking for general classic recommendations, I would recommend David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, which is one of my favorite classics of all time!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. berryvillelibrary says:

    If you want to read some more Jane Austen, I’d suggest Northanger Abbey–which is a pretty hilarious send-up of gothic novels from the time. If you’ve read other gothic novels written at the same time, you’ll know exactly what she’s making fun of and it’s awesome.

    I also really liked Persuasion, her last book. It deviated from her usual pattern by focusing on a comparatively older female character who was considered a spinster.

    Sense and Sensibility is also pretty charming, though I must confess I think the 1995 film version is *gasp* actually better.

    I personally never liked Emma–it’s the only Jane Austen book I disliked, though I can understand why it’s popular. I just couldn’t stand Emma herself, so I think that might be a big part of what dictates whether you enjoy the book.

    By the way, I love your blog! 🙂

    Like

      • berryvillelibrary says:

        Sure thing!

        I think if you want to read some of the better gothic fiction, you might want some stuff that was written after Jane Austen, though they still use the tropes she’s making fun of. I think the genre got better (and less predictable) as people played around with it more. Sheridan Le Fanu writes some wonderfully creepy gothic horror/vampire fiction, and also the Bronte sisters both wrote classic works of gothic fiction–Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. I also really loved Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon–it’s lots of fun! In fact that and Le Fanu might be my favorites of the ones I’ve mentioned here.

        If you want to read the earlier stuff, when the genre was still getting started, the ones Austen references in the books are the main ones from the time period, especially the Ann Radcliffe novels, like The Mysteries of Udolpho. In fact, if I remember correctly, the main character in Northanger Abbey is obsessed with it and just Radcliffe’s novels in general.

        There’s also Matthew Lewis’s book, The Monk. I read it for a class on gothic fiction, and it was one of the most bizarre books I’ve ever read. It was basically written by a 18/19 year old kid back in the 18th century who was determined to throw in every single horrifying concept by the standards of the time. It’s so over-the-top with evil monks and scandalous nuns and demons. The main reason I remember it is everyone else was trying to take it seriously, and I kept giggling in class, which did not go over well. . . . I wouldn’t say it’s good, but it’s certainly attention-getting!

        Liked by 1 person

      • abooknation says:

        I’ve heard about the works of the Bronte sisters and I’m definelty going to read them, I didn’t know they were gothic novels. I’ll def check out all the books you’ve mentioned because they sound like something I’d be interested in! Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. sherijkennedyriverside says:

    I like Emma and Sense and Sensibility is one of my favorite books of all time. Pride and Prejudice is my fave Austen on film, but S&S was more fun to read, I think. I’d give another vote to Wuthering Heights too, especially if you appreciate having the scene and atmosphere well set.

    Liked by 1 person

      • sherijkennedyriverside says:

        Yes, I understand. For one, they often take longer to develop the story or get to the action. My suggestion would be to take the recommendations of titles you get here and then go peek inside them on Amazon. You can probably tell from the first few pages if it’s written in a style that you can navigate well and if the story/characters will grip you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • abooknation says:

        Yess! I did notice that, because I usually read YA or crime thrillers (adult) when I started reading classics it took a LOT longer for something to happen! But I guess classics are what they are because of the journey they take you through, like you said, the characters/story and even the settings are so unlike anything I’ve read that’s been recently published! I will definitely take your advice and read samples before deciding if I want to go for it!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Misslillyred says:

    I’ve literally been looking around on your blog for 5 minutes or less and I already like you so much. I love the fact you’re so personal and you give your own opinion. I’m definitely following you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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