What is it about this novel that has me in this state of flurry every year? Is it simply because this is a love story and I am a romantic? Is it because I have never, in all the romance novels I have read in my life (and believe me, I have read MANY), found anybody as perfect as Mr. Darcy? Is it because he’s handsome and generous and so utterly devoted to his love once he has decided upon it? Is it Lizzie’s witty and arch behavior which is so unlike that of other girls in that time period and thus probably makes her more relatable or accessible as a heroine?
Yes. Yes. YES.
I have read a few other books written by Jane Austen but none of them have managed to captivate my so completely.
I will admit that my love for Pride and Prejudice began because of Mr. Darcy. But soon I began noticing other things: I envied the sisterly love between Jane and Elizabeth and their unshakable support of each other. I marveled at the innate goodness of Jane’s character and of her ability to see the good in everyone. My sympathies were inspired by Mrs. Bennett with five daughters to be married with no fortune or prospects and with their only home entailed to another. My logical mind sided with Charlotte Lucas as she explained not only what Jane should or should not do, but with her own decision to take control of her destiny and make a path for herself. My unease arose at the thought of judging people too quickly, at the thought of desiring a partner in life whose appearance and manner is pleasing and despair at finding that that is the only good thing about him.
For all the reasons I listed above – and more that are added each year – I re-read Pride and Prejudice every year.
Every year, without fail, I get into a frenzy about Pride and Prejudice. It begins with re-reading the book, of course. Then comes the 1995 BBC adaptation of the book, with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. Occasionally, I will read or watch some spin-off series or other adaptations. I have been known to watch the 2005 Keira Knightley and Mathhew Macfayden movie just so I can criticize it ever so harshly, for I believe it is a terrible adaptation of the masterpiece. And every year, without fail, I still feel all those emotions; annoyance, anger, hatred, uncertainty, shock and eventually love. Then comes a stretch of time whence I spend all my free time on Pinterest, looking for Pride and Prejudice memes, jokes, fan art and other similar things. During this Pinterest stage, I am on the lookout for new persons to whom I can ‘introduce’ this wonder to and have them participate in this celebration.
Since I do this every year, without fail, I thought it a good idea to begin writing and recording my experiences as I go through this frenzy.
Join me – it’s a free ride! And if you know of any Pride and Prejudice movie adaptations, TV shows, musicals, books, retellings, just holler! I’d love to check them out.