For the Love of Jane Austen | Pride and Prejudice Book Review

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

 Oxford Illustrated edition of Jane Austen

Jane Austen tidbits are always treasures, as is this well-worn book and quote.

Pride and Prejudice has wound its way into the hearts of generation upon generation. We could talk all day on what makes a “classic” and what makes a classic attractive to so many people for over 200 years, but why should we do that when we already know and appreciate one such as this?

This is probably my third time through Pride and Prejudice. I started it during the winter this time, and read a chapter every now and then, savoring it whenever I had a little bit of time to relax and enjoy. I didn’t finish it until recently—mid August! But really, it was not a bad way to enjoy a book, especially one I was already familiar with. I always got really excited when I remembered that it was there, waiting for me to continue reading it.

With all the trashy pop culture books out there now, it’s so refreshing to sit down with a real piece of wholesome literature where the characters reap what they sow with their actions, learn from their mistakes, and . . . well, who doesn’t love a happy ending?

[Side note: one of my professors told the class, “happy endings are for children.” He might be right, but I am proud to say that I will always be a child in those standards.]

I love Lizzy Bennet. Of all the characters I have read, she is probably one of the most similar to my nature. I have some strong Katniss Everdeen traits and some very strong Professor McGonagall tendencies, but I feel like Lizzy encompasses my normal, everyday self. That sometimes quick tongue that gets her into trouble. Her love of subtly defying the norm. Her loyalty to her family.

How she loves to shock people like Lady Catherine.

Maybe I am none of these things and maybe I do none of these things. But I do think that there is much to learn from the situations Jane Austen wrote for Elizabeth to experience.

For instance, there are consequences to something small like when Elizabeth overhears Mr. Darcy call her “barely tolerable.” Elizabeth has to deal with her feelings after that, but at first she creates a prejudice about him that was certainly quite wrong. As her character grows and expands, she then has to deal with her own pride in knowing she was wrong—and wanting it to be so much different.

There are so many levels of “pride and prejudice” in this book. (Read it to find them!)

It makes for wonderful character development.

Are you looking for similar books? Jane Austen has a great selection including one of my personal favorites, Emma. Emma really eats the consequences of her actions!

Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Villette are wonderful similar-genre options, too, but if your French isn’t up to par, you’ll miss out a bit on the dialogue unless you have a Norton’s copy or you keep Google translator handy.

Genre: British literature/historical fiction/satire/romance; adult, teen, preteen.

What is your favorite classic? Tell me! And tell me what has you so captivated by the characters and/or story.

Sunset over dark bean field

Bethany Swoboda is a freelance editor for Wordbender Books. She has always loved reading, reading, reading, and enjoys helping authors polish and develop their manuscripts. Some of her many hobbies are horseback riding, bouldering, helping work her family’s farm, playing piano, crocheting, and volunteering at her church. She has a BA in creative writing and a minor in professional writing from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri.

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