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Pride and Prejudice
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Christa VG (christa-ronpaul2012) | 3184 comments Hello everyone,

The new book for this month is a classic.......classic. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is available for free on goodreads if you click on the link. If you library does not have it, burn the building to the ground. At almost all used book stores you can find it for a few dollars and Amazon has it of course.

Please put all the discussion of the book here, and if you write a review please put up a copy of it here too.

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Gene (ewdupler) | 255 comments Is it wrong to read this so that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies will make better sense when I read it, later?

message 3: by Brenda (last edited Feb 06, 2015 10:13AM) (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 246 comments There are so many sequels, spin-offs, parodies, re-dos and reinterpretations of P&P that there is a website that lists them all. There must be several thousand. I doubt if more than one or two of them are worth a penny.

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I think the funniest spin off is 50 Shades of Darcy.

Christa VG (christa-ronpaul2012) | 3184 comments P&P Zombies was very funny, and yes you really need to read P&P first, otherwise a good deal of the funny things will be lost.

I think if a guy says he is only reading P&P so he can read P&P and Zombies, it gives him the satisfaction of reading both without the disapproval of reading the first.

Does that make sense?

Christa VG (christa-ronpaul2012) | 3184 comments I started reading the book two days ago. I love the opening sentence of the book. It is as unique and promising as the opening line from my favorite book "The Hobbit".

The opening line for the Hobbit is "In a hole int he ground there lived a hobbit." And with that sentence I feel it really sums up the whole book, it lets you know who and what the book is going to be about, and by the end of the book it is nearly the same.

For P&P the opening line is "It is truth universally acknowledge that a single man in possession of a large fortune must be in want of a wife." I feel this also sums of the book. It lets you into the mind of the charters before ant charters have been mentioned. Not to mention it is a hilarious insight into the idea's of the time, and I would dare say it is still true today.

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Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 246 comments It is a classic example of getting the conflict of the novel right up at the front of the work. And the next few paragraphs explicate it; by the time you read the first couple hundred words you essentially grasp that the Bennett girls have the choice between marriage and starvation.

Christa VG (christa-ronpaul2012) | 3184 comments I just finished Vol 1, which ends with Mr. Collins engagement. TO avoid spoilers I will not say with whom he is engaged.

The wit of Austen is so delectable it is hard for me to put the book down. At some points I am so familiar with the story I find myself glazing over parts, then realizing I just missed a particularly good conversation.

Sir Lucas is a favorite charter with me at the moment. He is such a good humored man, who I think is not only interested in his own families happiness, but the happiness of all who are around him. He reminds me a little of Mrs. Jennings from Sense and sensibility, but not nearly to forward and shocking. But a well mannered Mrs. Jennings.

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Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 246 comments Interesting, Charlotte's dad is a self-made man. The Bennetts are minor gentry (Mr. Bennett inherited Longbourne) but the Lucases are not. But because they live nearby and are of about equal wealth, the daughters can become BFs. Which sort of prefigures Lizzie's jump in status; although she claims to be Mr. Darcy's equal (he is a gentleman, I am a gentleman's daughter) he actually is a touch beyond her, as his aunt points out.

Christa VG (christa-ronpaul2012) | 3184 comments What is Mr. Collins biggest fault? He is a kind man, he is a loving husband, he is well situated and shows more than proper respect for his superiors, so what it is that makes him such an imbecile?

I cannot fault Charlotte for marring him and I believe Elizabeth is too harsh in her judgment of Charlotte. Charlotte's temper is so different from Elizabeth's, and later in the book she is shown to be tolerably happy.

message 11: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 246 comments Well, he lives purely with his eye towards the main chance. He would not admire or like Lady Catherine de Burgh if she were not his patroness, and he sucks up to Darcy until Elizabeth is mortified. He cannot take a hint, or indeed an outright refusal, but continues to nag Elizabeth about marrying him.

Christa VG (christa-ronpaul2012) | 3184 comments It is true he did not accept Elizabeths refusal, but he did it witht he best intentions and intened to flatter her. Although Elizabeth quite rightly does not believe in women playing with the attentions of respectable men.

Mr. Darcy too was at first unable to believe he would be refused, he everything to his advantage except the opinion of the lady in the matter. Mr. Collins was in much the same situation with Elizabeth. He had everything to his advantage, except Elizabeth could not stand his groveling ways.

At first I was tempted to say Mr. Collins biggest fault was vanity. But as Mary informed me. "Pride is how one thinks of oneself, where as vanity is what one would have others think." And I do not see that he is terribly vain. Certainty nothing like Anne's father in Persuasion.

He is prideful in almost the same way Darcy is. He thinks too much of his situations and flatters himself into believing other people could never think different than he does. So perhaps Mr. Collins is another example of Pride?

message 13: by Lora (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lora (lorabanora) That's an interesting take on it, I hadn't thought of it that way. I often find myself liking Austen's titles.

message 14: by K.N. (new) - rated it 2 stars

K.N. (karmaplace) I'm in the lonely minority of really disliking this book. It could be because I've been reading (and spoiled by) Saki or it could just be I dislike romance so much I can't even handle satirical romance!

message 15: by Lora (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lora (lorabanora) Oh, I love Saki. I have a book of his titled:
Humor, Horror and the Supernatural: 22 Stories by Saki
I grew up reading these stories, and have since read them to my own kids.
When I think of it, I only even started to like a certain amount of romance in recent years, and usually only the greats of the field, not the cranked out corned beef mash from a can.

message 16: by K.N. (new) - rated it 2 stars

K.N. (karmaplace) Lora, I read his The Unbearable Bassington, and I find myself comparing and contrasting that and P&P despite them being published almost exactly 100 years apart. Both have wealthy (and not-so-wealthy) British upperclass characters, young single people requiring rich spouses, and rather improper and impolite characters... I just liked Saki's story more. Comus Bassington (the titular "Unbearable Bassington") and his mother were such great characters. In contrast, didn't feel anything for anyone in P&P.

Christa VG (christa-ronpaul2012) | 3184 comments I have never heard of that author before and am now very interested to read "The Unbearable Bassington". I will contact my library today. Thank you for the suggestion.

I'm sorry you can not feel connected to the P&P charters. I grew up with my mother and sister reading me the book, and watching the movies so it has sentimental value to me that of course not everyone can share.

What do you think of Austen's "Wit"? Does being unable to connecting to the charters make the wit less funny and more dull?

I have a favorite line from Austen but from her book Persuasion. When Anne is talking with Captain Harville he says "Songs and Proverbs, all talk of woman's fickleness. But perhaps you will say, these were all written by men."

From P&P Miss Bingley is talking of what Darcy once said after a dance. (Speaking of Elizabeth Bennet) "She a beauty, I would assume call her mother a wit!" A deep insult to be sure, but also I will allow, a very amusing comment.

Christa VG (christa-ronpaul2012) | 3184 comments I thought I would add almost all of Saki's work is before 1960, and I am adding a few books of his to the groups "To read" list. It should show up in the next poll. Feel free to add any books you think are classics to the groups "To read" list so long as they were published before 1960.

message 19: by K.N. (new) - rated it 2 stars

K.N. (karmaplace) Christa, P&P is very well-written and extremely note-worthy, it's just that I personally found it dull (I recognize the wit, but was not thoroughly charmed by it). I know so many people that grew up with the book and watched all the film adaptations and love it... Maybe it was over-hyped for me? I don't know, my tastes don't always fall under "the norm" anyway.

Saki died in WWI (killed by a sniper, there's an unconfirmed rumor that his last words were, "Put that bloody cigarette out!"), so I know for sure that at least all of his work was written before 1960. Thanks for adding him! He makes me laugh out loud!

message 20: by Lora (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lora (lorabanora) Years ago I wouldn't have ever touched any Austen books. Period. I'm still not sure what happened, but I certainly changed along the way. I now enjoy several Austen-based movies and have several of her books. I also saved a couple back for when I wanted some 'new' Austen to read. I only just discovered/accepted her in my middle age years.
As far as I can tell, I just grew up. No- not as in, I matured to the point where I could appreciate Austen- not that. I just got experienced enough to want to branch out from sci-fi and supernatural. I was willing to try new things- even non-fiction (years ago this would have been like saying I enjoyed going to the dentist). I read several genres now, and I like the variety.
Another aspect of Austen that drew me to her was related to my tastes in terms of my standards in reading. Horror was simply becoming more horrible- a vicious attack on my sensibilities. And a lot of sci-fi started to sound all the same somewhere around the eighties. So I started trying other stuff. I discovered that I liked the wit and joy of this kind of beautiful writing.
I have since settled comfortably in the neighborhood of classic lit for the most part. Though I do enjoy some history and even westerns. I still remember how Jane Austen did not work for me, back then. It makes me sympathetic to those who don't like her.

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Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 246 comments And a good novel from the period is a time machine. You can climb right into the culture and the heads of people in 1817. (Although, interestingly, Austen herself did not want to tie the work to a specific place and time. You can deduce, from the various mentions of events, when the work takes place. but she is careful never to mention fashions, who is Prime Minister, and so on, so as not to overtly date her work.)

message 22: by Lora (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lora (lorabanora) Hey, that's a great point. I've always wondered why one book from a time period became dated while another became timeless. I felt it was because timeless books focused on timeless themes, and dated books were trying too hard to be 'the latest thing'. This is a new wrinkle for me to consider.

message 23: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 246 comments Yes, novels that are fighting the political battles of the moment tend to date. They only live if they have other, larger themes that carry them on into time. If you read Dante's INFERNO, he spends a lot of time crabbing about the politics of Florence. Nobody knows who all these people are, I assure you, and that he has them boiling in oil in Hell (if you're writing the book you can put all your enemies in Hell and all your best buds in Heaven) is at best confusing. But it is, luckily, about more than grinding his own axe, and so people still read it.

Christa VG (christa-ronpaul2012) | 3184 comments I finished today.

I was so happy with the ending I couldn't stop smiling. I was struck by how generous and forgiving Elisabeth, and to an extent Darcy, is towards Lidia and Wickham. Forgiving someone who refuses to see what they have done wrong, and never repents from it, is hard. Much harder I think than forgiving someone who asks for forgiveness.

I also wonder if the money the Darcy's send the the Wickhams ensures Wickham never leaves Lydia though it is said her charms soon lesson in his sights. But Wickham would not leave Lydia because then he would lose the money he gets from the Darcy's and Bingly's.

One thing I highly agree with is Elizabeth saying (Talking to Jane about Jane's happiness) "Until I have your disposition, your goodness, I can never have your happiness." I was struck by this because you can put two people int he same situation and their attitudes will vary depending on their attitudes going into the situation. Those who are prone to be happy about everything are happy. And those prone to being only happy for certain things will be unhappy in the same situation.

I truly love this book the more every time I read it.

message 25: by Lora (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lora (lorabanora) The book that most has that effect on me is Little Women. Another one I would have avoided as a youth!

Christa VG (christa-ronpaul2012) | 3184 comments I despised Little Women when I was younger, then about age 14 I read it and really liked it. I have only read once more since then but I really enjoy it now. I did like her other books, Little men, and Jo's boys greatly before liking Little Women.

Maggie the Muskoka Library Mouse (mcurry1990) This book is a Classic for a reason! :)

Michelle (mich2689) | 225 comments I finally got around to reading this and it was so delightful! There's a reason this is one of the most popular Classics. Austen did a wonderful job of developing the characters. Oh that spoiled little brat Lydia and that deplorable Wickham!

message 29: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian | 317 comments Mod
Just finished reading this for the catchup challenge. I enjoyed this much more than Mansfield Park - I found Elizabeth to be a much more relatable protagonist than Fanny Price.

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