Published by Penguin Books on 2012
Genres: Fiction, Classics, Literary
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
From A to Z, the Penguin Drop Caps series collects 26 unique hardcovers—featuring cover art by type superstar Jessica Hische
A is for Austen. Few have failed to be charmed by the witty and independent spirit of Elizabeth Bennet in Austen's beloved classic Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth's early determination to dislike Mr. Darcy is a prejudice only matched by the folly of his arrogant pride. Their first impressions give way to true feelings in a comedy profoundly concerned with happiness and how it might be achieved.
“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.”
I’ve been moving unusually slow for my 2016 Reading England challenge, as I’ve just completed my third book. Pride & Prejudice is my all-time favorite book, by one of my favorite authors, Jane Austen. It’s been a while since I last read this great classic about the Bennet family, and their quest to find husbands for their five daughters. The book takes place out in the country in Hertfordshire, and centers mainly around Elizabeth Bennet and her extreme dislike of Mr. Darcy. They spend the majority of the novel at cross purposes, and later realize their first impressions of one another are inaccurate. In fact, underneath all of their extreme dislike for one another is true love.
Hertfordshire is looked down upon by Mr. Darcy and his friends the Bingleys when they first arrive in town. They find it quite provincial compared to London, and find the inhabitants to be country bumpkins. However, it’s not long before Charles Bingley becomes smitten by Elizabeth’s sister, Jane. Through their romance, Elizabeth and Darcy are constantly in each other’s company, and that’s how readers see their relationship develop. It’s a slow build up that’s loads of fun as Mrs. Bennett, and the younger Bennett sisters do everything in their power to embarrass their older sisters. While an epic romance, this novel is also highly comedic.
Pride & Prejudice will have you roaring with laughter one minute, and swooning the next. Since Elizabeth is the narrator, the readers get the same impression of Darcy as she does. Pompous, vain, and rude is how he comes across, but like her you’ll find yourself falling in love with him. Despite being cast as a villain through most of the book, readers eventually realize that not everything is as it seems, and wind up enjoying one of the greatest romances in literary history. If you love a great romance, then there’s no way you can not read this novel.