Book 9 – Pride and Prejudice
Oh, Mr. Darcy, why do we love you so much? Is it because, despite being full of, well, pride and prejudice, you fell in love with an unsuitable woman because you discovered her to be witty, intelligent and diverting and, upon discovering her well-reasoned dislike of you, changed the outward presentation of your character in order to win her over? Is it because you are just that romantic?
This is perhaps my tenth or twelfth reading of Pride, arguably Jane Austen’s best, and it is still magical. I adore Darcy and Elizabeth just as much as I did the first time. I love Elizabeth because she is a woman who maintains a sense of joy and compassion while refusing to conform to the expectations of her time and her station, and accepts that this may limit her chances of finding love. And yet, find love she does, in spite of,or perhaps because of, her character. And I love Darcy because, well, he’s Darcy!
I’m cautious about extending my Pride and Prejudice experience, for fear of ruining the book, but I have enjoyed these connections:
1. 6-part TV mini-series, starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. This is as true to the book as it gets, and Colin Firth will always be Mr. Darcy to me now!
2. Bridget Jones’ Diary. Very lose references to the book, but the most significant is Colin Firth playing the character of Mark Darcy. Need I say more?
3. Longbourn, by Jo Baker. The story of the Longbourn household staff over the time during which Pride and Prejudice takes place. I was very worried about this one, but in the end it actually added a Downton Abbey level of interest to the original story.
Coming soon: The stage play. Fingers crossed!
Rating: Buy it! Go out and buy it right now.