Pride and Prejudice was a novel I had attempted to read many years ago. Because I had struggled to get into it back then, I had avoided picking it up once again. I simply had to pick up this novel once more and add it to my series ‘Reading the Classics‘. Now that I’ve read the whole novel, I’m so sorry that I didn’t read it sooner.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
It is no small wonder that Pride and Prejudice has been the subject of many theatre productions, TV shows and movies. Ever since its publication in 1813, Jane Austen’s most popular novel has captured the imagination of its readers.
The novel is set in that often forgotten time in English history – immediately following the flamboyance of the eighteenth century and the generation prior to the coronation of Queen Victoria.
Pride and Prejudice
The opening of the novel sees the arrival of Mr Bingley into the neighbourhood. He is a rather wealthy gentleman who takes a fancy to Elizabeth’s elder sister, Jane. Mr Bingley is accompanied to social functions by his friend, an exceedingly wealthy gentleman, Mr Darcy. Mr Darcy is somewhat the contrast of Mr Bingley.
Whereas Bingley is the epitome of social grace and affability, Mr Darcy displays an arrogance and snobbery afforded to him by his status. Elizabeth, well educated, refined and attractive young woman, takes an instant dislike to Mr Darcy.
Other characters throughout the novel are overcome by the vice of pride. In particular, Mr Bingley’s sisters. Furthermore, Mr Darcy and the Miss Bingleys are at times, unable to overcome their prejudices of the Bennet family.
Throughout the novel, the fortunes and circumstances of Elizabeth’s family bring her into intermittent contact with Mr Darcy. But can he overcome his pride, and can she overcome her prejudice?
The novel takes a mocking approach to early nineteenth century social norms. That a woman can be deemed unsuitable for marriage because of her lack of wealth, or her family connections, is a theme Austen explores throughout this engaging novel.
Marriage and love are strong themes, yet social class and propriety often need to be overcome for the sake of love.
A Recommended Read!
Pride and Prejudice is one of those novels that, once you get into, you won’t want to put down. The story takes you into unexpected plot lines and a need to know what happens next might take over you … as it did me!
I love the ending of this novel, but I was incredibly sad when I reached the end of the book. The character of Mr Darcy will have an ever-lasting impression on me!