The Oxford Illustrated Jane Austen: Volume II: Pride and Prejudice (Oxford Illustrated Jane Austen)
Next to the exhortation at the beginning of Moby-Dick, "Call me Ishmael," the first sentence of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice must be among the most quoted in literature. And certainly what Melville did for whaling Austen does for marriage--tracing th...more
I had to read it for AP English and I could not see the point. Girls need to marry. Girls can't get married. Girls are sad. Girls get married. Girls are happy.
I went to school to half heartedly discuss it and waffled and wavered in an effort to please my teacher. Finally she said: "was it good or not, Ben?"
"No it wasn't."
"Thank you...now read this twenty pages of literary criticism for homework."
After sherlocking through my Easton Press collection, I started by pulling out my Dickens and reading A Tale of Two Cities which I thought was jaw-dropping AMAZO and...more
I must confess I have been known to express an antipathy for anything written or set before 1900. I just cannot get down with corsets, outdoor plumbing and buggy rides. Whenever someone dips a quill into an inkwell my eyes glaze over. This is a shortcoming I readily...more
Rating: 4 very annoyed, crow-feathered stars out of five
The Book Report: No. Seriously. If your first language isn't English, or if you're like nine years old, you might not know the story. Note use of conditional.
My Review: All right. All right, dammit! I re-read the bloody thing. I gave it two stars before. I was wrong-headed and obtuse and testosterone poisoned. I refuse to give it five stars, though. Look, I've admitted I was wrong about how beautiful the writ...more
Since then, I’ve encountered other variations on the theme that a modern woman ought not to be reading such trash because it sets feminism back two centuries.
Well, much as I laughed over the first caveat, that isn't Austen. It sounds more like the silver fork romances inspired by Georgette Heyer. Austen's characters don't talk about clo...more
This was Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy's reply when Ms. Elizabeth Bennet asked him when he fell in love with her.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen had put my left out dictionary into good use. I have to admit, I was very slow in the first pages, however, nearing the end, I was like a driver going at 100mph, eager to reach the finish lin...more
I am sitting here eating a tootsie roll, a Halloween left over, and I can't help notice the similarities between it and the novel Pride and Prejudice. First off, like P and P, the tootsie roll wasn't one of those dinky ones that you can almost swallow in a singl...more
Near perfection! P & P is one of those rare gems that weds character, plot and language all in one harmonious marriage.
Austen's plotting is so very precise here. It's an absolute pleasure to behold. The timing is impeccable and there is very little, if any, fat in the prose to slow it down. Finding new clues to future plot twists and turns with each reread has reached the level of a sport for me now!
They say, write what you...more
The reasons are myriad: my mother hated Austen (a disdain she took to the grave without ever explaining), so she never recommended her to me; I was a boy in the '70s and a teen in the '80s and even though I loved Barbra Streisand, ABBA, Wham!, Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran (and...yes...I still do) I wasn't about to let people know that, and since I carried whatever book I was reading with me wherever...more
I’m not sure that I could adequately express what I loved best about Pride and Prejudice, because there are so many things. The writing, for one, is superb. There is a flawless eloquence to Austen’s writing whereby every situation, every thought, every turn of phrase is delivered gracefully, yet with the greatest exactitude. Clunkine...more
OK, so P&P may not need my help. The word is likely already out. What that means is that I can scurry around the periphery of the story itself, make a few small points, and move on with near certitude that Miss Austen will have an audience regardless.
It had been quite a while sin...more
When I was about 26, I decided to go back to school for my Master's (in Computer Science). As part of the application process, I had to take the GRE. One evening I was hanging out with my girlfriend and going through one of those vocabulary guides that list words you might see on standardized tests like the GRE. I was reading out to her the words I didn't know and was amazed at h...more
This is taking a year.
Wait, who's Aunt is who's?
Funny that you Bennet parents birthed both flat characters and round characters. Is "round character" a recessive gene?
No! Don't write another long letter.
Oh, you should like him. He's got a kick-ass house.
In my late teens, romance was just not my cup of tea: it was meant for (yechch!) - girls. I was happily reading about those brave and hardy men who blew up German castles (during World War II) and evil Communist strongholds (after the war). The only women in those books were beautiful spies or dangerous adventuresses.
A few years later, my aunt pointed me to this book, after I had rather enjoy...more
I was forced to read the book in 9th grade English class. This was perhaps the most tedious school assignment I've received to date. For several pages a lady remarks to a man about what wonderful handwriting he has. Not exactly gripping material. The entire book seemed to be about hormone-driven marriageable-age creatures trying to outwit each other in word and on the dance floor.
The book itself...more
It's a rule that writers are supposed to write what they know. If Austen stayed true to that rule, I really feel bad for her. Because she must have known nothing but shallow, self-absorbed, slightly idiotic people.
While the sisters Bronte were capable of creating characters that even today's reader can identify with (complete with passion and realistic, heart-warming flaws), Austen's charac...more
Until now I had only seen the Kiera Knightly movie of this book.
Below is for my benefit of keeping all the characters straight.
Parents: Mr. & Mrs. Bennett
Child: Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Catherine (Kitty), Lydia
Older Relative: Lady Catherine de Bourgh (Aunt of)
Nieces/Nephews: Fitzwilliam Darcy, Georgiana Darcy
Significant other: William Collins/Charlotte Lucas
Siblings: Charles Bingley, Caroline Bingley
Significant other: George Wicklam/Lydia Bennett
Elizabeth Bennet is th...more
The way culture is portrayed is also very interesting; it is too different than any I...more
1. Surprisingly relatable and relevant. The family dynamic between all the members is all over the place (like it should be). There's love, annoyance, exasperation, loyalty, and concern. I was thoroughly entertained.
2. I really enjoyed the plot direction. I was surprised by the twists, and actions of the characters.
3. The writing is excellent. Yes, there are aspects of the book I had to re-read to understand what was going on, but...more
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Austen lived her entire life as part of a close-knit family located on the lower fr...more