My all-time favorite novel is Pride and Prejudice. I can’t count how many times I’ve read it. You can see in the picture the palm-sized, cloth-bound edition I use. Yes, the paper is thin, but it can lay flat, meaning, I can easily read it while eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
For my degree, I took an elective on Jane Austen and read four other works by her. Although I appreciated each one, nothing compared to Pride and Prejudice. Some people identify with the characters, but not me. Instead, I feel a kindred spirit in Austen whose wit comes across on every page. Man could that girl throw some shade! And, every time I re-read the story, I find new sarcasm that I’d overlooked before. Talk about providing a lifetime of entertainment.
Yet, I have a dirty little secret when it comes to the book. Most people love the “heroine” Elizabeth Bennet, but not me. I hate her, because I think she’s an idiot. In fact, I wrote my final paper in that Austen class on the very subject. I mean, couldn’t she take a few minutes to clear up some things before she outright refused the proposal of one of the richest men in England? Yes, he didn’t have much tact, but after all, she grew up with crass parents and sisters, so you’d think she’d have learned to overlook that by then.
Anyhow, before I turn this post into a dissertation, let me just say that the second best thing about Pride and Prejudice is the character development in it. Because Austen painted each of them so well throughout the story, readers have an opportunity to identify with one or more of them. Despite a rather universal storyline, the characters make the work classic. I can only aspire to such great writing.
And, for the record, my favorite character is Charlotte. There’s a lot of “between-the-lines” with her backstory and relationship with her husband, and I may one day fill it all in with my interpretation of it.