Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Book 3 of 2015: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I mentioned in my Emma review a fortnight ago that I'd started the Reading Challenge with the intention of reading more classics and books by authors I'd never really read before. Well, top of my list of authors whose books I wanted to read was Jane Austen and when Week Two's topic was 'a classic romance' there was really no question about it being anything but Pride and Prejudice.

Even if you've never read Pride and Prejudice you're probably familiar with the story since it's one which has been reproduced numerous times for film, TV as well as in other stories and media which are based heavily on the story. Basically Elizabeth Bennet meets Mr Darcy and immediately sparks fly. Her mother is keen to marry off Elizabeth and her sisters, but they need to marry well, and Lizzy has her sights set on someone else. But Mr Darcy keeps cropping up and there's only one way that's going to end.

I have to admit that I didn't enjoy this story as much as Emma and Northanger Abbey. With those stories I felt compelled to keep on reading which wasn't a compulsion I really felt as I worked through Pride and Prejudice. There are a couple of reasons for this though the main one was just the fact that I'm really familiar with the story already.

Although this was a first time read, I already knew the story from the BBC adaptation, the more recent film version, and the host of films which used it as the basis for their own stories (Bridget Jones's Diary, Bride and Prejudice, the more I think about it, the longer the list gets). It just meant that I didn't have same sense of urgency as I read because I already had a fairly good idea of what was going to happen and how.

I did also read it over the week when Mr Click and I travelled to Wales for our 'second Christmas' which meant that I had a lot of other things on. This also didn't help with my speed, though it's telling that it took me from the 8th to the 14th of January (at 291 pages long), whereas Emma clocked in at 514 and I started it on the 1st then finished it on the 4th.

That's not to say I didn't enjoy it. I did. I especially liked the characters of Lizzy and Jane but I didn't like Darcy all that much. He strikes me as a person with really poor social skills which I guess is the time when it was set but an awful lot of hassle could've been saved if the characters had actually spoken to one another. I guess that just made it frustrating.

What also frustrated me were the characters of Lydia and Mrs Bennett. The former just didn't seem to care about anyone but herself or how her actions might affect her family; the latter just wanted her daughters to marry above their station and that was all she wanted, regardless of how they might go about achieving that. Every time their names appeared on a page I cringed inwardly.

It's a book that I am glad to have read, though I'm not sure I'll read it again any time soon. Perhaps the feeling will take me at some point in the future when I've rewatched one of the adaptations.


  1. I don't lie it as much as Emma either, but i've still read it umpteen times.

    1. I think I'll go back and read it again at some point but I'm mostly just glad I've read it the once. I feel like it's one of those books everyone should be able to say they've read.

  2. Of course Lydia is selfish. She's 16...

    1. I know she's just a selfish teenager, but I just couldn't see much redeeming in her.


Let me know what you think. :-)