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Flirting with Pride and Prejudice: Fresh Perspectives on the Original Chick-Lit Masterpiece
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Flirting with Pride and Prejudice: Fresh Perspectives on the Original Chick-Lit Masterpiece

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  611 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
One of fiction's most well-loved novels, this 19th-century classic continues to capture the hearts of contemporary readers with its notions of marriage, dating, and romance. Leading authors in the area of women's literature and romance contribute to this fresh collection of essays on everything from Lydia's scandalous marriage to George Wickham to the female-dominated Benn ...more
Paperback, 230 pages
Published August 11th 2005 by Smart Pop
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,212)
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Oct 06, 2009 Vicki rated it liked it
Can we please stop calling Austen's work Chick-Lit? It's degrading to one of the world's greatest authors, as is the whole concept of taking stories about women and love and giving them pink covers with martini glasses, high heels and sparkling skyscrapers. Seriously. Please. Can we stop now?

That said, I had a fun time with most of the essays in this book. Some are swings and misses, but lots of them are good takes on P & P, and add new levels to the ideas floating around about our girl Jane
This marks the first (and hopefully only) time I have used the words “Pride and Prejudice” and “disappointment” in the same sentence.

Everything started off well enough when I first opened Flirting with Pride and Prejudice. The first few essays are entertaining, if not elucidating; I learned a little about how P&P reflects modern relationships, and how self-professed chick-lit writers see their work in the grand scheme of things. It is perhaps telling (more about me than about the quality of
Mar 22, 2008 Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: 2008-reads
An interesting object lesson in what happens when you don't really put any restrictions on an anthology. Variations in quality and relevance were so wild, there was almost a whole separate level of experience there: WHAT will happen NEXT?

*the conversation between the critic and the reader (especially recommended for those who want to know why I bailed out of grad school but don't want to get me riled up by asking me about it)
*the surprisingly insightful analysis of Mary
*a well-devel
Miss Clark
Apr 24, 2009 Miss Clark rated it really liked it
As any book compiled from varying authors, you love some essays, hate some and the rest you don't really care about one way or the other. Sometimes it is fun to see another person's perspective on a well-loved subject, and sometimes their viewpoint is seemingly incomprehensible to you.

My favorite essay is Any Way You Slice It by Elisabeth Fairchild. It focuses on the theme of the novel.

The Original Chick-Lit Masterpiece by Shanna Swendson has interesting insights into the similarities between
Jun 20, 2008 Cathy rated it it was ok
Shelves: 52-in-08
I'm having the same problem reading this as I am with the Buffy book from the Smart Pop series: writers who try too hard to be clever. I'm more than willing to read what you have to say about a book (or T.V. show) that we both love, but just write an essay and trust that I'll be interested. I don't want to read your thoughts as a song, or an imagined conversation between 2 different imaginary people. I ended up skipping or skimming through more than half of the pieces.
G K Chesterton:
"Jane Austen was born before those bonds which (we are told) protected women from the truth were burst by the Brontes or elaborately untied by George Eliot .... Jane Austen may have been protected from truth: but it was precious little of truth that was protected from her."

It's a collection of essays and several short stories that explore various points and themes from P&P. The popular writers and academics who wrote these pieces all agree that Austen remains relevant; but, of
Jun 01, 2010 Heather rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 08, 2008 Trisha rated it it was amazing
What a fun book to read! It's a collection of essays and articles written by a variety of people who had been asked by the book's editor to write something - anything - about Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. So there were some semi-serious pieces that discussed the various characters, commented on the manners and conventions of the time, analyzed the theme and plot elements, etc. There were also some delightful pieces that looked at the similarities between the Bennet sisters and young women w ...more
Mar 06, 2012 Sherri rated it really liked it
Despite the title reference to Pride and Prejudice as {shudder} chick-lit this collection of essays covers different aspects of the novel and its influences.

One of my favorite essays, by Lawrence Watt-Evans, tries to determine when the story was set by vague clues in the text and describes the world outside of Austen's carefully constructed universe. Another essay explains the historical importance of marriage and inheritance in reference to Regency society, a subject I thought I knew quite a b
Apr 29, 2012 Mickey rated it liked it
I was disappointed with this book. This was my second book from the Smart Pop series, which contains various essays from a wide range of people who are offering smart criticism of a subject. (The subjects are mostly popular culture, such as TV shows or movies.)

I had also read a book discussing the Narnia series by Smart Pop, which I thought was better than this compilation.

I think that the quality of work was often slap-dash. Many essays focused on the "chick lit" angle, but without any real d
Mar 18, 2015 Cary rated it liked it
I enjoyed at least 1/2 of these essays of Pride and Prejudice enough to take the authors' names down so I could look up their books to give them a shot. I am always looking for new (to me) authors. Some perspectives I agreed with, some were funny, some I disagreed with and some were just plain boring. Thus it was just like any other book of this sort! Not a quick read as it took some time to digest.
I was disappointed in this collection - there seemed to be no middle ground between overly academic (and frankly, boring) essays, and the ones that didn't do much more than point out that every woman in the world thinks Colin Firth is hot. Yeah, I know. (Yeah, I'm the oddball who liked McFadyen better.)

Adam Robert's Jane Austen and the Masturbating Critic was the most frustrating (and simultaneously content-light), but Lani Diane Rich's squealing teenage girl-esque diary (My Firth Love) was the
Nov 18, 2011 Samantha rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Pride & Prejudice
Being a fan of Pride & Prejudice, I found this book to be highly entertaining. It kept me laughing and opened my mind to things I hadn't originally thought about. The essays included are such a fine assortment, rather like a box of chocolates in that you can find at least ONE essay to like.
Multiple times, I would be sitting in a class and begin laughing (which came with a return of blank stares directed at me). I really enjoyed this book and I believe it has enhanced my experience with Prid
Sep 20, 2009 Barbara rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. While I am not usually a big fan of literary take-offs on this book, I enjoyed a few that were included in this book. I enjoyed the Elemental Masters story, as well as the story on Georgina, Darcy's younger sister. I never thought of Lizzie as mercenary. I always thought she changed her mind because of love - she finally realizes Darcy is a good man and she loves him. A few essays hinted that her turning point came when she visited Darcy's estate and realized how rich he was ...more
Stacy Charlesbois
Oct 13, 2014 Stacy Charlesbois rated it it was ok
This collection of essays can't decide whether to be academic or popular, and instead becomes an uneasy mix of both. some essays are really well done while others are tedious. Read this if you have time and like to argue with the printed word.
Jul 21, 2015 Rebecca rated it it was ok
Not very interesting. If you like reading a lot of authors of chick-lit swooning over Colin Firth or else making generalisations that don't ring true (Austen was uninterested in the war when her brother was in the navy? Really?)
Oct 16, 2016 Sharon rated it really liked it
I remember feeling shocked the first time I heard someone refer to Jane Austen as "chick lit." Here, several different authors proudly take-on the label and run with it in a variety of ways: essays, commentary, fan fiction, etc. An entertaining look at the many ways Austen still resonates with modern audiences.
Jul 05, 2016 Catherine rated it really liked it
Overall, this was a fun collection of essays on a variety of P&P/Austen-related topics. The best ones, I found were the less "academic" and more "fluffy" pieces (such as one that imagines P&P as a reality show--I laughed out loud! And Dailey's quiz was fun too). A good breezy read for any Janeite.
Jul 03, 2013 Cherene rated it it was amazing
I really, really loved this compilation of essays, short stories and a quiz--all about my beloved favorite book ever,Pride and Prejudice. If you are a die hard P&P fan like me, you'll love the essays that cover topics as varied as the theme of P&P, gold diggers, envy, and a very interesting comparison of P&P to Fiddler on the Roof. I laughed out loud at the Reality Show version of P&P and the diary entry of a Colin Firth fan. I loved reading the untold stories of Mary, Charlotte, ...more
Jul 14, 2014 Kaethe rated it it was amazing
A fun anthology. And it taught me that the scene of Mr. Darcy in his wet shirt in the BBC adaptation is the most swoon-worthy piece of film in the past twenty years.
Peggy Thomson
Jul 02, 2015 Peggy Thomson rated it really liked it
The smart pop series have lots of enjoyable reads. This was one of them.
Apr 01, 2016 Morgan rated it really liked it
This was a fun and well executed concept. A should read for any Austen fan.
Andrea Blythe
Feb 02, 2011 Andrea Blythe rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
A collection of essays (and handful of short stories) from chick-lit and modern literary authors assesses the classic Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice. It's a fun light-hearted criticism of the book, addressing it from a modern perspective, even going so far as to imagine what it might be like if Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters had to deal with cell phones or if the book was actually a reality TV show. Some of the essays are better than others, but most of them were easy reads with enough ...more
Jul 11, 2009 Zhuoshi rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Pride and Prejudice lovers
Many of these works (essays, stories, diary entries, and of course the quiz) are very interesting, especially ones that I can relate to, or ones that I find helpful in understanding Jane Austen. Toward the end, a lot of them are quite funny—in fact I found myself laughing out loud—and toward the beginning, quite a few argued very good, valid points about the book. I really enjoyed reading this book; it opened me to many new perspectives of Pride and Prejudice that I otherwise wouldn't have thoug ...more
A fun, sometimes irreverent, and indulgent read--kind of like that extra scoopful on M&Ms on your otherwise healthy vanilla bean fro-yo. For Janeites, it's a trip to read "modernized" versions of Jane's work (there is a P&P spinoff reality show hosted by Ryan Seacrest where Ty the gorgeous handyman of the Pennington clan waxes eloquent about his master Darcy--Bachelorette meets Masterpiece Theatre) or "what-if's" about lesser developed characters like Mary Bennet, Charlotte Lucas, and th ...more
Oct 20, 2012 Janet added it
Shelves: nonfiction, fiction, 2010
It's edited by Jennifer Crusie, but the 24 short pieces are by a variety of authors. It's a mix of essays and short stories in response to Price and Prejudice. I suppose the short stories qualify as fanfic, as they take the characters from the novel. Some of the stories are set in the world of P&P, and others transport the characters to modern time. Crusie is a smart, funny writer, so it's no surprise that she's put together a smart, funny collection. I'll never look at Mary Bennet the same ...more
Mar 09, 2009 Allanna rated it liked it
A collection of essays and some short fiction based on/inspired by Pride and Prejudice.

I was happy to find that, though I picked this up randomly at the library, there's a piece by Shanna Swendson in here.

It was better than I thought it would be, as a whole.
(I originally picked it up, without glancing at more than the title, thinking that it'd be about courtship in Regency England. :P)
Jun 22, 2008 Miriam rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: someone obsessed with P&P but too lazy to read actual scholarship
Recommended to Miriam by: Crusie's site
Shelves: non-fiction
I was pretty disappointed by the collection. Crusie's intro is the best part. Most of the articles were superficial and unoriginal. I couldn't believe how many of the authors actually stated that they hadn't previously read Austen and didn't review any previous scholarship on her book. Maybe the idea was that this would lead to fresher perspectives, but insead it resulted in feebler versions of ideas that had already been expressed at greater length.
Sep 15, 2013 Sofia rated it liked it
Uneven. There are a few outstanding essays in this compilation ("A World at War," "Gold Diggers of 1813," "Jane Austen and the Masturbating Critic," "The Secret Life of Mary"), but the rest are forgettable, ridiculous, unnecessary, or trite. There is some excellent Austen analysis out there (I highly recommend "What Matters in Jane Austen? Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved), so don't waste too much time with the majority of essays in this book.
Sep 11, 2007 Caitlin rated it really liked it
Light, and funny in places, there's a lot in here for someone who's obsessed with Jane Austen, Elizabeth Bennet, and Mr. Darcy. There's one entry set up like a diary by a married mother of young children who finds herself with a school girl crush on Mr. Darcy.

It's fun to read if you spend way too much time on Austen than you really should, and you need to know there's other poor sould out there just like you. :)
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Jenny Crusie is the NYT bestselling author of twenty some novels and lots of other stuff. Her latest novel, Maybe This Time, hit shelves in August, 2010.

Jenny lives on the Ohio River where she often stares at the ceiling and counts her blessings.
More about Jennifer Crusie...

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