Paul Bryant's Reviews > Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
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Revived review to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen. Go Jane - like a cute little tortoise you have outlasted all of those bustling hares.

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It is a truth which I would like to see universally acknowledged, that no one voluntarily reads any 19th century novels unless they are by Jane Austen. I fear that modern readers think all these Radcliffes, Disraelis, Eliots, Gissings and so forth tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt them, or even, that they are most disagreeable, horrid books, not at all worth reading. They look at them without admiration at the library. They tell me they are all too long, but for my own part, if a book is well written, I always find it too short. But it is particularly incumbent on those who never change their opinion, to be secure of judging properly at first, lest it be considered prejudice. Such perseverance in wilful self-deception! In vain I have struggled to tell them about Thackeray, Dickens and Bennett. It will not do. Somewhere they have formed the groundwork of disapprobation on which succeeding events have built so immovable a dislike; and I firmly believe that Moby Dick is the last book in the world that they could ever be prevailed on to read. The modern reader is so well disposed towards those who are in interesting situations, that a young person, who is either a vampire, or a zombie, is sure of being kindly spoken of. Well, well. One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other. My idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed dead people who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company. Laugh as much as you choose, but you will not laugh me out of my opinion.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
September 27, 2007 – Shelved
December 16, 2007 – Shelved as: novels

Comments Showing 1-23 of 23 (23 new)

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Anton Haha agreed! I enjoyed 'Pride and Prejudice' but can't fathom why it's the one classic 19th century novel revered above all others. Give me 'Middlemarch' over it any day.


message 2: by Jayaprakash (last edited Oct 21, 2013 06:28PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jayaprakash Satyamurthy Thackeray is so great. And funny. I like Thomas Hardy a lot too. People need to go beyond Jane Austen.


Kelly Don't forget the Brontes! I think those ladies are read more than willingly enough by many. At least Charlotte and Emily in any case. I would argue plenty of people read Dickens willingly- at least Two Cities, Christmas Carol and possibly Oliver Twist (Great Expectations tends to be one of those required things.) Also Conan Doyle is pretty easy to succeed recommending. Thackeray is the one I always cheerlead people reading and succeed less than I would like but there are at least a few others regularly and widely and voluntarily read I think.

Also, I appreciated the clever Austen weaving in the review. Well done. :)


message 4: by Paul (last edited Oct 22, 2013 01:20AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Paul Bryant It's all Jane, except for about five words and a few author's names! Well, I think maybe people will read Wuthering, but only harcore types will be reading anything else by the Brontes, and NO Dickens!


Dolors Maybe her most popular novel, but not her best imo.


Paul Bryant Emma.


message 7: by Tristram (new)

Tristram My compliments on that review, which, to borrow Dickens's words, contains "a meloncholy truth". But then there are people like me who hardly ever bother to pick up a novel by anyone who was born after 1900. And as to that "too long" argument, I like to refer its proponents to Hamlet's answer to Polonius ;-)


Paul Bryant Yes, it's a matter of where you're standing; like, it's great that GR has 20 million members, but if 19,900,000 are YA/Romance readers, then, all due respect, not so great. Not that I think everyone should be ploughing through Vanity Fair all the livelong day.


Lit Bug Finally somebody who doesn't rave and gush about P&P and many other classics! Thank you Paul.


Dolors Persuasion for me.


Priti Nice review Mr B.
I agree that the 19th century classics are getting short shrift, maybe it's the shrinking attention span to blame. We are in too much hurry to reach somewhere else. It's sad really.


message 12: by Organicearthful (new)

Organicearthful I have to drip feed myself classics otherwise I get bored of reading. I take turnabouts one modern one classic. That way I keep myself intrigued that language and ideas can be so beautifully and succinctly presented that they evoke something more than the mere tale. Like the essence of being human.


Kaethe Douglas Delightful.


message 14: by Paul (new) - rated it 3 stars

Paul Bryant thanks Kaethe


Kaethe Douglas No, thank you.


Alienor Yay! I, for one, am a Brontë girl, and try as I might, I have never been able to read beyond three chapters by Miss Austen. I simply can't. I fall asleep without fail. Give me Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, give me moors, give me oxygen!!


message 17: by Paul (new) - rated it 3 stars

Paul Bryant and digging up bodies, can't forget that. Healthy country pursuits.


Alienor It seems to be a very British sport;0)


message 19: by Ms. Letti (last edited Nov 04, 2015 06:52PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ms. Letti Paul wrote: "In vain I have struggled to tell them about Thackeray, Dickens and Bennett. It will not do. Somewhere they have formed the groundwork of disapprobation on which succeeding events have built so immovable a dislike; and I firmly believe that Moby Dick is the last book in the world that they could ever be prevailed on to read."

This is a smart review. I'm glad I read it.

In response to reading the classics, to borrow the sentiment of Organicearthful, I have to "drip feed" myself also.

I figure, one classic per year, but I doubt I will ever get through my entire supposed-to-read list.


Ramona Great review, Paul. Thank you!


message 21: by Paul (new) - rated it 3 stars

Paul Bryant thanks Ramona


message 22: by Cecily (new)

Cecily "like a cute little tortoise you have outlasted all of those bustling hares."

Andrea Leadsom, Leader of the House of Commons, certainly thinks so:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-polit...


message 23: by Paul (new) - rated it 3 stars

Paul Bryant she has a knack of putting her foot in it.


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