Publication Date: August 1, 2003 (originally published in 1813)Review: I've never had a particular partiality for classics, but lately, I've been wanting to read as many as possible. I believe that the catalyst for the desire was watching the recent Les Miserables film. I loved it so much, and I wanted to read the actual book (which I hope to read soon), which led to me wanting to read other classics as well. Pride and Prejudice is my first classic that I've read outside of school assignments, excluding childhood classics, such as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and The Wonderful of Wizard of Oz.
Publisher: Barnes & Nobles Classics
Page Count: 376
Synopsis: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."
So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen's witty comedy of manners--one of the most popular novels of all time--that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues.
Renowned literary critic and historian George Saintsbury in 1894 declared it the "most perfect, the most characteristic, the most eminently quintessential of its author's works," and Eudora Welty in the twntieth century described it as "irresistible and as nearly flawless as any fiction could be."
I am pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed Pride and Prejudice. It wasn't as dense as I expected it to be. Of course, with my limited exposure to different types of writing, there were some passages that I had to reread to fully understand them. But overall, Jane Austen's writing is extremely manageable and not at all the incomprehensible prose I'd been expecting.
The characters were lovely. At first, I was unsure of my feelings for the protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet. She seemed far too judgmental and prejudiced (the prejudice in the title) for my taste. She was described as witty and intelligent, but I couldn't see past her outspoken personality. But throughout the course of the novel, I gradually admired her. She went through a transformation that turned her into a better character.
The Bennet family is an interesting one. Mr. Bennet is very sarcastic and intelligent, whereas Mrs. Bennet made me grit my teeth with her frivolous and exaggerated behavior. The eldest daughter, Jane, is gorgeous and kind, though sometimes her kindness made her judgment very poor. Elizabeth is the second eldest. The third daughter is Mary, who would rather read than converse with others. Then, there's Catherine, who likes to flirt and focuses on boys and beauty. But even Catherine is nothing compared to the youngest daughter, Lydia, who's so obnoxious and annoying, that I found myself glaring whenever she came in a scene. There are many lovely characters in this book, but there are also some that are terribly despicable.
Mr. Darcy was another character that I didn't love from the get-go. He was very arrogant and proud (the pride in the title), and I couldn't help but be a bit turned off. However, he was extremely intriguing. He spoke minimally, and I wanted to know more about the famous Mr. Darcy. Later in the book, as I got to see more of his character, I couldn't help but fall in love with his generous acts.
The plot moved slowly, in my opinion. There were scenes that were extremely dramatic, of course, but there were also chapters where I thought not much was going on. Overall, the plot was very captivating, despite some slow moving places.
Pride and Prejudice is a delightful and absorbing novel, filled with surprising sarcasm and great characters. Also, I'm very pleased to say that by reading this book, I've picked up on quite a few vocabulary words. I hope to read another Austen book soon.