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Pride and Prejudice
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message 1: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (last edited Jul 20, 2016 09:41AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lesle | 6104 comments Mod
Member FoodxHugs requested this Buddy Read. If you have time please join in!


message 2: by FoodxHugs (new) - added it

FoodxHugs | 20 comments Hey, if anyone would like to BR with me I'd be grateful.

I'm choosing to read Pride and Prejudice because it's one of those books that I've tried to read when I was a teen yet never finished. So, it would be a challenge for me to finally getting round to completing it.

Looking forward to chatting about it with anyone who'd like to join me in this BR. Thanks.


Lauren (Shakespeare & Whisky) | 44 comments FoodxHugs wrote: "Hey, if anyone would like to BR with me I'd be grateful.

I'm choosing to read Pride and Prejudice because it's one of those books that I've tried to read when I was a teen yet never finished. So, ..."


I'll re-read for the hundredth time. When were you wanting to start the buddy read?


Francis | 4 comments You may be interested in the course on Future Learn about the literature of the English country house


message 5: by FoodxHugs (last edited Jul 24, 2016 02:37PM) (new) - added it

FoodxHugs | 20 comments Lauren wrote: "FoodxHugs wrote: "Hey, if anyone would like to BR with me I'd be grateful.

I'm choosing to read Pride and Prejudice because it's one of those books that I've tried to read when I was a teen yet ne..."


Oh sorry for the late reply! :) Thank you - I'll be excited to hear your thoughts. I just finished Great Expectations today, and I started reading Pride and Prejudice. I'm on the third chapter. So far it's an easy read compared to Dickens and The Bronte Sisters. Not much description, mostly dialogue.


message 6: by FoodxHugs (new) - added it

FoodxHugs | 20 comments Francis wrote: "You may be interested in the course on Future Learn about the literature of the English country house"

Yeah, sure. Have you got a link?


message 7: by FoodxHugs (new) - added it

FoodxHugs | 20 comments So I've got up to Chapter 5 so far. The prose is straightforward.

Mr and Mrs Bennet seem to have a crap relationship with each other. They enjoy bickering with each other. Darcy seems up himself. Elizabeth is portrayed as more sharper than her sisters, but other than that I've still to form an opinion over her.


message 8: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rosemarie | 8736 comments Mod
I read it a while ago, but I remember that Mrs. Bennett was an annoying character.


message 9: by FoodxHugs (new) - added it

FoodxHugs | 20 comments Yeah, Mrs B is annoying with her "Think of my nerves!" spiel. Put a sock in it, woman. I'm wondering if they actually got coerced into marrying each other because I highly doubt that her and Mr B's union was a love match... xD


message 10: by FoodxHugs (new) - added it

FoodxHugs | 20 comments This book is a real drag, I gotta admit. I have no problem getting into other classic writers, but her themes are not interesting. Even Austen's attempts at wit haven't raised a smile... but I'll aim to finish it just so I can say I've read one of her works. Phew.


message 11: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rosemarie | 8736 comments Mod
I have read all of Jane Austen's works(over the course of thirty years!) and I have enjoyed some more than others. P and P is her most famous book, but I like her later book, Persuasion, the best.


message 12: by FoodxHugs (new) - added it

FoodxHugs | 20 comments Yeah, after finishing this, I'll check out Northanger Abbey because I'm interested in the Gothic and I know it's a satire on it. :)


message 13: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rosemarie | 8736 comments Mod
Northanger Abbey is a delight.


message 14: by FoodxHugs (new) - added it

FoodxHugs | 20 comments Glad to hear it! :)

I'm on chapter 8. Elizabeth is staying over at Netherfield after her long walk and Jane's ill. Seems to me that Darcy is only interested in her because she's given him the cold shoulder since he insulted her looks earlier. Hmm. That was quick. 0 to 100.


Brian E Reynolds | 3963 comments I have read all of Austen and, while Persuasion is my favorite, P&P is probably the best overall story and the best to read first.
Stick with it, FxH. While the themes may not seem that interesting or important, please remember just how vitally important marriage was to women who couldn't just make their own living in 1800. Also, the plot really gets moving toward the end.


message 16: by FoodxHugs (new) - added it

FoodxHugs | 20 comments I'll try. Thanks, Brian.

Seems everyone says Persuasion is their favourite in here. What makes it so good? :)


message 17: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rosemarie | 8736 comments Mod
The character is more mature than the other heroines and knows herself as a person, instead of being a "young thing".


Brian E Reynolds | 3963 comments I think I like Persuasion because:
1) I like the heroine Anne Elliott the best of the Austen heroines. She's older, her family doesn't appreciate her and she is true and constant without being too good:
2) the story is just a nice story, almost redemptive, about a longer lasting love than in other Austen. Its a small simple story, not as dramatic as either P&P or S&S .
3) the actors in the movie version were normal and plain looking rather than the beauties in other Austen movies. While the novel does not describe them as plain, and may descibe Anne as attractive just not as attractive as her older sister, I still pictured the hero and heroine as normal looking while I read it, enhancing my sympathy for their characters. I read all the Austens after seeing TV or movie versions.
4) Many seem to prefer P&P and Emma, but its my nature to often favor one not as popular with others, like having George as my favorite Beatle. Also, there are reduced expectations when reading one not considered as big a classic, which may enhance the enjoyment.


message 19: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (last edited Jul 28, 2016 09:41AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rosemarie | 8736 comments Mod
There is a movie version of Persuasion that I enjoyed, especially the scenery, since I have never been to England. Ciaran Hinds plays the male lead. I am talking about the 1995 movie, not the more recent version.


message 20: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rosemarie | 8736 comments Mod
Brian, I agree with your assessment of Persuasion. As for the Beatles, I really like Paul!


message 21: by FoodxHugs (new) - added it

FoodxHugs | 20 comments Interesting points you mentioned there, Rosemarie and Brian. The story sounds really good from reading your messages. I wouldn't mind giving Persuasion a shot in the future.

I watched an ITV adaption of it with Sally Hawkins as the lead but I don't remember much about accept she had to reject the love interest's proposal because he was too poor or something. With some Classics I personally think it isn't best to go into it having watched the movie first. The book is so much better; classics should be read, not watched just because the atmosphere and tone can rarely be captured or the filmmaker decided to make a stupid major change that wasn't even mentioned in the text, or the productions values are bad etc.

After reading Great Expectations, I thought the classic Lean movie was pretty shit. Even though I remembered watching it has a kid and enjoying it. Second viewing - big disappointment. :(

What are your opinions on the P&P movie/TV adaptations, btw? I thought they were ok, but not my cup of tea. 90s TV series were overlong but I can understand why it has a huge fanbase although I wasn't a fan of Ehle and Firth's acting. The Keira Knightley movie was fine but her acting left a lot to be desired.


message 22: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rosemarie | 8736 comments Mod
I watched a version of P and P in the 70's with an absolutely gorgeous Mr D'arcy.


Brian E Reynolds | 3963 comments Rosemarie wrote: "There is a movie version of Persuasion that I enjoyed, especially the scenery, since I have never been to England. Ciaran Hinds plays the male lead. I am talking about the 1995 movie, not the more ..."
Ciaran and Amanda Root as Anne Elliott are the normal looking hero and heroine I was thinking of. I also saw and liked the Sally Hawkins version back when PBS televised versions of all the Austens in the U.S.

FxH, I like all the P&P versions I've seen, its a cinematic and dramatic story. Maybe only Jane Eyre has more versions which reminds me to see the Ciaran Hinds as Rochester version.
I liked both Ehle and Knightly and even like the 1940 version with Greer Garson, though they change Lady Catherine's personality at the end. I did prefer some of the casting in the Knightly movie over the Ehle miniseries, especially Rosamund Pike as Jane. I haven't yet seen the 1980s BBC miniseries with Elizabeth Garvie as Elizabeth, though I own the DVD.

Finally, I agree with FxH that its better to read the book before the movie so you can make your own visualization and not just see the movie scene when you read. But I try to adapt.


Lauren (Shakespeare & Whisky) | 44 comments P&P is one of my favourite books of all time. A lot goes unspoken in Austen's books or is quickly summarised or only indicated rather then spelled out. In the section where Darcy proposes it can seem sudden however if you track Darcy's actions over the course of the first half of the novel it is very clear that they have spent a good deal of time together and that he has admired her for a very long time for a variety of reasons. The real change for Darcy occurred when Lizzie went to visit her sick sister Jane. It is not just because she is pert that he admires her, although that originality definitely interests him.

Austen specialises in social commentary and exploration of how character influences life choices. She also makes some moral judgements on which characters she thinks make more valuable choices.
People these days always try to frame it as a romance but it honestly isn't.

It is a close social commentary on the way our relationships with others shape who we are and how we see the world.

The most obvious example is between Darcy and Lizzie.(view spoiler)

That is part of what makes this novel so popular and enduring. It is an exploration of values, self- respect and life choices.


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FoodxHugs | 20 comments All interesting points, Lauren. I agree, it most definitely is not a romance because the romance element is lacking and emotion is void in Austen's world. So far it seems like an early precurser to chick-lit. Not saying Austen's a bad writer, but compared to Dickens and the Brontes there's a distinct lack of empathy and excitement in her plots. The focus is narrow and limited to the provincial middle-classes. I appreciate variety in literature and unfortunately this is a disappointment for me. Charlotte Lucas seems to be the most sensible of the bunch and Mary is given a hard time considering she's supposed to be the brainy sister. Tbh, if Austen had allowed Mary to be our heroine instead, it would have actually been quite interesting reading. Brainy Underrated Girl vs Snuck-up Rich Snob. Let the battle commence...


message 26: by FoodxHugs (new) - added it

FoodxHugs | 20 comments Forgot to add, no spoilers please unless I've got to that part. Thank you.


Lauren (Shakespeare & Whisky) | 44 comments FoodxHugs wrote: "All interesting points, Lauren. I agree, it most definitely is not a romance because the romance element is lacking and emotion is void in Austen's world. So far it seems like an early precurser to..."

Wow.

I always thought that about Jane in Emma but I'm honestly shocked. Mary is very foolish. She is not clever she is conceited.

Charlotte Lucus is definitely sensible but she is also the most conventional character. She settles for a man who is intellectually inferior to her in order to secure a respectable home. That is sensible but is it really admirable?

I strenuously disagree with the idea that either Dickens or the Brontes were better writers. Her novels are much more tightly plotted then anything Dickens managed- long and convoluted does not mean better- and stylistically she is superior to any of the Brontes.

I will concede that her novels are limited to the provincial middle class. However, she wrote novels that had a strong sense of the ridiculous which many people over time have found amusing.

Neither Dickens or the Bronte sisters ever attempted to be particularly comedic. This is unsurprising given the Bronte sisters difficult life circumstances and their preoccupation with the gothic. In fact Charlotte Bronte went on public record saying she hated Austen's work. Dickens was rather too embittered to ever write something with a tidy happy ending but that doesn't mean his work has more literary value.

Anne and Charlotte Bronte and Jane Austen were the only female authors of their time to write exclusively about the experiences of women and achieve acclaim. Each took very different approaches and explored the ideas in different ways. Anne Bronte, in particular, wrote novel(s) that commented on the impact society and community had on women while Austen wrote more about personal attributes and choices. Both points of view are important.

Even if Austen was the precursor to modern chick lit, why is that framed as a negative thing? Is that not valuable in and of itself? For a very long time it was impossible for women to carve out a space of their own in publishing and chick lit/ romances was one of the only areas they were "allowed" to tell women's stories.

Even today- when a man writes about a modern man's experience he has written "literary fiction" but when a woman writes about a woman's experience she has written "women's contemporary fiction", or maybe "feminist fiction".

Everyone is different of course. We may be having this same conversation in reverse next time the group does a Dickens novel. :)


message 28: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rosemarie | 8736 comments Mod
Of all the authors mentioned above, I think Jane Austen is the best writer stylistically. Her works seldom have superfluous words and she uses some delicious "zingers" to describe some characters.
However, Dickens creates some memorable characters and the Brontes are wonderful at creating atmosphere and dramatic plots, at times.
George Eliot wrote much later than Jane did. She is the other major British female writer of the 19 th centuryIMO.


message 29: by FoodxHugs (new) - added it

FoodxHugs | 20 comments Lauren, I'm on chapter 8 of P&P so far, so those are my impressions of Mary and Charlotte so far. Who knows, my opinion may change as I read further. But I have to disagree with you in terms of comedic value - Dickens has a wonderfully dry sense of humour that runs through his works. You mention that he disliked happy endings, but Great Expectations was such a feel-good ending. I almost cried because I loved that each character got the ending s/he deserved. He created memorable, relatable, energetic characters with spirit, humility and heart. I even liked Pip in the end because he changed and learned from his earlier mistakes. Yes, Dickens has a tendency to ramble and his plots are long-winded but he immerses me in his world like no other because his characters are bloody fantastic. Imo, it's rare that an author is so skilled at creating characters and strong character development in classic or modern lit. And that's why I trust him because he delivers the goods in the end. :) His prose isn't hard to read either despite what people think. He has lovely moments.

Emily Bronte is fantastic, too. She had a deliciously dark sense of humour and I'd say she was ahead of her time in terms of plot events/vivid imagery. She was the trailblazer. Charlotte had good ideas, but she has structural problems. I've yet to finish Anne's Tenant but she's easier to read than her sisters...

Austen hasn't made me laugh or smile once. And that's saying something...


message 30: by FoodxHugs (new) - added it

FoodxHugs | 20 comments Rosemarie, I agree with your assessment on Brontes and Dickens. :) I've yet to read Eliot although I'm planning on reading Middlemarch and Mill on the Floss later in the year. What's your opinion in Eliot, btw? Any good? :)


message 31: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rosemarie | 8736 comments Mod
George Eliot is one of my favourite 19th century British authors, the other is Thomas Hardy. I suggest you read Mill on the Floss before Middlemarch. It is shorter and has a more compact plot. There are multiple plots in Middlemarch.


message 32: by FoodxHugs (new) - added it

FoodxHugs | 20 comments Will do. Thanks!


message 33: by Robin P (last edited Aug 06, 2016 12:39PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Robin P FoodxHugs wrote: "Lauren, I'm on chapter 8 of P&P so far, so those are my impressions of Mary and Charlotte so far. Who knows, my opinion may change as I read further. But I have to disagree with you in terms of com..."

As far as Great Expectations, Dickens' original ending was not what it is now, not "happily ever after" - apparently fellow writer Wilkie Collins convinced him to change it.

I love both Austen and Dickens, but they have different styles, like artists, maybe miniature vs giant canvas. Dickens has plenty of one-dimensional characters, sort of like Mary in P & P, who has only one characteristic. With a more compact format, Austen has to make every sentence and action count. Dickens could adapt his books as he went along and saw what was popular with his audience. For instance Sam Weller was supposed to be just one of the many characters met in a chapter of the episodic Pickwick Papers. But people loved him so much, Dickens brought him back as a regular character. (kind of like on a TV show now.)

I found P & P kind of boring when I was a teenager because of the formal language, but now I think it's great. I think these books are easier to appreciate as an adult. My favorite is Emma, and my least favorite is Mansfield Park which is serious and seems to be written by someone else. Of course, it's perfectly fine not to love Austen, at least you have tried her out.

Both Dickens and Eliot have a sentimental, melodramatic side, which Austen doesn't have at all.


message 34: by FoodxHugs (new) - added it

FoodxHugs | 20 comments It's not just GE that has a happy ending, plenty of Dickens books have them too like Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol. It doesn't matter who convinces him to do anything with his work, it's still his story and imagination.

You're right about Dickens and Austen being completely different in their approaches. I guess Austen isn't for everyone just like with any author. She's easier to read than other Classic writers I've read, so that's a positive. :)


message 35: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rosemarie | 8736 comments Mod
Just to let you know that we are reading Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen as our YA book of the month. You will find it under the YA group heading. Happy reading everyone.


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