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Pride and Prejudice | Book Review

Friday, 26 September 2014

Rustling around in my grandpas attic, I found this copy, dusted it off, and to my delighted 11-yr-old self, I knew I had found a gem.

I was instantly excited because I had seen the Keira Knightley version of the movie many times. I did try to watch the other versions but every time I do, I find myself in a confused state asking the (slightly annoyed) person next to me "But WHERE is Keira Knightley??" You can only imagine the exasperated sighs that this evokes. What? No one will watch it with me?

Hardly containing my naive anticipation, I turned the first page. "Blah blah blah solace blah blah blah blah felicity." This is what fell on my eyes when my 11-yr-self surveyed the red and gold bound book. Silently, I closed it back up, and vowed to get a sandwich, I believe.

Some years later, I cautiously picked up this novel after it appeared on several must read lists. Bracing myself, the first page was again turned, and a pleasant surprise awaited me. I couldn't put it down for three days straight and wished there was more of it to be devoured.

Classics get a bad rap. Perhaps they're not as "cool" as young adult fiction, or they're viewed as merely high school books. But this......oh sweet is amazing. Jane Austen is a genius and once again, I have adorned my fluffy socks, to sit refreshing the library page in hope it will say "Ready for Pick Up" on her other novels. Really cool, Madison.

First published in 1813, although set in the turn of the 19th century, it has all the old fashioned goodies you would expect. Lots of long skirts, dinner parties, and gossip (yes, they had such a thing in the old days!). The opening sentence of the book is as follows:

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

This immediately introduces the theme of marriage, and in a sneaky way, tells us the outline of the plot.

It is an absolute masterpiece, absolutely brilliant, and has sold over 20 millions copies. The characters are the kind where you find yourself saying "I know someone just like so-and-so!" The most unlikely of people end up together, and the story triumphs over pride, prejudice and love. The story is built up from an ordinary home, but as the plot thickens the drama also rises just as if they were royalty.

The courtship is of the best kind, the emotional, wanting, fearful, fearless, kind. This would have to be one of my favourite books. It contains one of the most coveted and cherished love stories of all time. Because really, it is what we know and adore, a good ol' romance.


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