10/22/12

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

3 Stars
ABOUT THE BOOK -
Pride and Prejudice was first published in 1813. The story follows the main character Elizabeth Bennet as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education, and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of early 19th-century England. Elizabeth is the second of five daughters of a country gentleman living near the fictional town of Meryton in Hertfordshire, near London.

Though the story is set at the turn of the 19th century, it retains a fascination for modern readers, continuing near the top of lists of 'most loved books' such as The Big Read. It has become one of the most popular novels in English literature and receives considerable attention from literary scholars. Modern interest in the book has resulted in a number of dramatic adaptations and an abundance of novels and stories imitating Austen's memorable characters or themes. To date, the book has sold some 20 million copies worldwide. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR -
In 1801, George Austen retired from the clergy, and Jane, Cassandra, and their parents took up residence in Bath, a fashionable town Jane liked far less than her native village. Jane seems to have written little during this period. When Mr. Austen died in 1805, the three women, Mrs. Austen and her daughters, moved first to Southampton and then, partly subsidized by Jane's brothers, occupied a house in Chawton, a village not unlike Jane's first home. There she began to work on writing and pursued publishing once more, leading to the anonymous publication of Sense and Sensibility in 1811 and Pride and Prejudice in 1813, to modestly good reviews.
Known for her cheerful, modest, and witty character, Jane Austen had a busy family and social life, but as far as we know very little direct romantic experience. There were early flirtations, a quickly retracted agreement to marry the wealthy brother of a friend, and a rumored short-lived attachment -- while she was traveling -- that has not been verified. Her last years were quiet and devoted to family, friends, and writing her final novels. In 1817 she had to interrupt work on her last and unfinished novel, Sanditon, because she fell ill. She died on July 18, 1817, in Winchester, where she had been taken for medical treatment. After her death, her novels Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were published, together with a biographical notice, due to the efforts of her brother Henry. Austen is buried in Winchester Cathedral.   

MY REVIEW -
I know this book is a favorite of soooo many women. I am almost embarrassed to post my review. Please don't hang me.
Well I guess I am just not a classics kind of girl. I did like the writing. I was enjoying it. I loved the characters. But something was just lost to me. It was very confusing, there were times when I had no idea what was going on and had to re-read the page. I watched the movie first and thank God I did! It was so helpful to have that to go by and have that picture in my head. I think if I hadn't watched the movie first I might have hated this book. So my suggestion, if you hate classics, is to watch the movie either first or with the book as a companion. It makes so much more sense that way.
That all being said there were parts that I really did like. There were lots of really great lines.
"You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these last twenty years at least." Ha! a classic with humor! 
"Pride," observed Mary, who piqued herself upon the solidity of her reflections, "is a very common failing, I believe. By all that I have ever read, I am convinced that it is very common indeed; that human  nature is particularly prone to it, and that there are very few of us who do not cherish a feeling of self-complacency on the score of some quality or other, real or imaginary. Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us." I like that last sentence.
I loved that Elizabeth Bennet was a very strong character, especially for the times. She spoke her mind and did not let men railroad her. I do love books with strong female characters.
Another reviewer said they didn't like that it was mostly conversation. That was one of the things I loved about it.
 

BOOK TO MOVIE COMPARISON -
I loved the movie! As I said if it were not for the movie I would not have made it through the book. Now I am talking about the 2005 version with Keira Knightley. She was excellent cast as Elizabeth! Not to mention how beautiful she was. I think she was perfect. I thought this was just as good as "Little Women" with Winona Rider (even though I do not care for her).
I really thought the movie was a great adaptation of the book and followed along quite well!





THE ALL-IN-ALL -
All in all this was a very romantic, but not too fluffy, true to the book, true to 19th century England, movie about a very head-strong but sweet woman falling in love with a very unlikely man.

So I am sorry that I did not fall in love with the book. But alas, I do think my Jane Austen days are over! I will just stick to the movies.

3 comments:

  1. Oh, I am so sorry this one didn't grab you. Austen is a favorite of mine, but she's not everyone's cup of tea. I can totally understand this one not working for you. Kudos for being honest!

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  2. Oh, thank goodness I'm not the only one!!! I think I rated it 3.5 stars a few years back and my thoughts were the same as yours. I love the movie with Keira Knightley and I prefer it a lot more than the book. Though, I did like how the book ended.

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    Replies
    1. Yes! Thanks for not hating me! I was seriously worried to write my opinion. So many people (especially women on Shelfari) have this as their favorite book ever. While i did enjoy the writing I couldn't ever say that it was my favorite book.

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