Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Title/Author: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Publisher/Date published: Penguin Classics, first published in 1813
How I got this book: how can I call myself a booklover if I don't even have a copy of my favourite book in the house? I bought it.
Why I read this book: I felt like revisiting my old friends of Longbourn, Netherfield and Pemberley, it's been a while.

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."

With this line starts my favourite book of all time. I'm sure all of you are familiar with the story one way or the other, even if you haven't read the book. But still, a short summary:
The Bennets are a family with 5 daughters, living at the family estate Longbourn. With 5 girls, Mrs. Bennet has a considerable amount of anxiety about seeing them all married to a respectable (and hopefully a wealthy) man. When an amiable young man named Mr. Bingley rents the house near them, she has high hopes of marrying one of her daughters off to him. But Mr. Bingley doesn't come to the neighbourhood by himself, he brings with him a friend, Mr. Darcy, who has a less pleasing disposition than his friend does. Elizabeth, the second eldest daughter, clashes with him on more than one occasion and in this lies the true lovestory.

I rant about this book every chance I get and since I reread it last week, I thought it would be as good a time as any to do it again.
This book has been my favourite since I first read it when I was 14 or 15. And it gets better every time I read it. I love reading new books, but revisiting this one that I already knew I'd love again is so relaxing and I was glad to find that I hadn't prettied it up in my head, it really is THAT good.

Miss Austen tells the story of a family of 7 with such detail and wit, I really feel I know all of them intimately. And everyone has their own fleshed out character, which I really love. She has a lot of humour and the story flows brilliantly. Sure, I live for the scenes with both Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, but the rest of the story is beautiful as well.

I have talked again and again of how I love Elizabeth, she is an intelligent, strong woman. Mr. Darcy is my ultimate bookcrush, he's so noble and handsome and just dreamy. I also love Mr. Bennet, he's sarcastic and I love his humour.

I have always thought that classics such as this and for example Jane Eyre have had so much influence on romance in novels and especially in romantic comedies. A lot of times you can lead the relationship of the characters back to a couple of patterns and I'm always looking for a fresh spin on these in stories.

I've seen both the BBC series and the movie adaptation from 2005 and personally, while the BBC version is more true to the book, I enjoy watching the more recent movie more (though of course, the plot is not affected by the changes). I enjoy the whole feeling of it more somehow.
This may or may not also be influenced by my finding Matthew MacFadyen more attractive...

My rating: there is no rating for my favourite book ever, the stars are off the chart for this one.

I'm going ahead and assuming a lot of you have read this book, if so, what did you think? Loved it/not so impressed/think it's overrated? And for those who have seen the movie/tv series: how do you think it compares to the book?


  1. I love Pride and Prejudice very much!

    I did see the films and I like the BBC adaptation of 1995 best.

    The version of 2005 is cute but not really my cup of tea. I am not sooo into Matthew MacFadyen.. And Keira Knightley.. uhm..
    but besides this two I like the cast very much. And now I want to watch it again! ;")
    And I like Lost in Austen, which is very cute. :")

    Btw. my favourite Bennet sisters are Lydia and Kitty.. ;")

  2. I am ashamed to admit that I've never read Pride and Prejudice. It is on my to-do list for this year!

  3. *raises hand* I admit I find Mathew McFadyden(sp?) more attractive. LOL

    I have loved this book since I first read it when I was 14, it's one of those timeless stories in which all other stories are slightly based (much like Jane Eyre, I would think).

  4. You already know I love P&P - I totally know what you mean about being unable to give it a rating! It's like it's on a whole different level :D

    I do prefer the BBC version to the most recent one - I'm not a big Keira Knightley fan so I didn't really like her in the role of Elizabeth. The first version of P&P I saw, though, was actually one done back in 1980 with Elizabeth Garvie & David Rintoul. I saw it before I read the book and enjoyed it so much I think I picked the book up soon after! David Rintoul is not the best Darcy (there's some very rigid acting going on there) but Elizabeth Garvie makes a good Elizabeth Bennet, I thought.

    And have you seen the earliest movie version (the black-and-white one)? It is so different from the book it's pretty hilarious.

    Anyway, I have probably rambled enough about the various P&P movie versions so I'll stop now :D

  5. @Frl. Irene: I really enjoyed Lost In Austen as well!

    @Jen: let me know what you think when you've finished it!

    @AnimeGirl: glad I'm not the only one :)

    @Danya: I haven't seen the black and white version or the one from 1980, but I'm going to try and check them out (after figuring out how to get my hands on a copy..).

  6. LOVE this book! I have only watched part of the BBC version of the movie, but even though it does stay truer to the book, I much prefer the 2005 version. The whole thing is just prettier and more like I imagined. Not to mention how lovely Matthew MacFadyen is...:)