Pride and Prejudice.pdf
In this historic romance, young Elizabeth Bennet strives for love, independence and honesty in the vapid high society of 19th century England.
About Jane Austen
Though the domain of Jane Austen’s novels was as circumscribed as her life, her caustic wit and keen observation made her the equal of the greatest novelists in any language. Born the seventh child of the rector of Steventon, Hampshire, on December 16, 1775, she was educated mainly at home. At an early age she began writing sketches and satires of popular novels for her family’s entertainment. As a clergyman’s daughter from a well-connected family, she had an ample opportunity to study the habits of the middle class, the gentry, and the aristocracy. At twenty-one, she began a novel called “The First Impressions” an early version of Pride and Prejudice. In 1801, on her father’s retirement, the family moved to the fashionable resort of Bath. Two years later she sold the first version of Northanger Abby to a London publisher, but the first of her novels to appear was Sense and Sensibility, published at her own expense in 1811. It was followed by Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), and Emma (1815). After her father died in 1805, the family first moved to Southampton then to Chawton Cottage in Hampshire. Despite this relative retirement, Jane Austen was still in touch with a wider world, mainly through her brothers; one had become a very rich country gentleman, another a London banker, and two were naval officers. Though her many novels were published anonymously, she had many early and devoted readers, among them the Prince Regent and Sir Walter Scott. In 1816, in declining health, Austen wrote Persuasion and revised Northanger Abby, Her last work, Sandition, was left unfinished at her death on July 18, 1817. She was buried in Winchester Cathedral. Austen’s identity as an author was announced to the world posthumously by her brother Henry, who supervised the publication of Northanger Abby and Persuasion in 1818.
“In high school, my enjoyment of old European art was always hampered by my gratitude that I’m not any of these exasperating people or in any of their stifling situations. I felt so blessed and superior that I escaped sitting around mending bonnets all day, waiting to go on a walk- how boring and pathetic! Upon rereading this years later, I was able to let go of these old prejudices and more objectively view the characters in the situation they were in. That was when I realized Austen is a genius: I saw how much she understands and subtly, humorously conveys, and how little I’d understood before. Now I actually consider this to be a work of rationalist literature, in addition to a brilliant romantic comedy.
In my previous reading, I thought that the only intelligent, reasonable character was Mr. Darcy, and that everyone else’s problems was brought on by their own idiocy, of which their unjust hatred of the virtuous, blameless Mr. Darcy was only further evidence. This time around, I realized that he caused some of these problems himself. Mr. Darcy’s arrogance caused problems he could’ve easily avoided by being slightly nicer. Instead, he prided himself in his bluntness and in his own virtuousness, thus causing people to resent him, because who likes someone who thinks he’s better than you, even if he actually is? Similarly, Lizzy demonstrates all of our tendencies to like and be less questioning of information coming from someone who flatters us. This causes us to have errors in judgment and believe things we would otherwise be more critical of. Mr. Darcy shows an amazing ability to step outside personal biases and view things from other’s perspectives- a rationalist romantic hero! Austen understood the female wish: a rich, moral, loyal man completely rational about all things, except for his irrational love for his weird woman.” -Amazon Review
“Pride and prejudice – words figuring heavily in my relationship with classic literature. Truthfully, I’ve never had a keen interest in the classics. I pretty much went straight from Nancy Drew to the racy stuff hidden in my grandmother’s closet…anything Harold Robbins, I was in heaven. I hadn’t the time or interest in classic lit beyond the high school scraps I suffered through and promptly forgot.
Over the years, my prejudice against old, fuddy duddy stories and long dead authors remained. Contemporary bestsellers instead of ancient tomes for me. And, lest one surmise that a burgeoning good taste led me to read Pride and Prejudice, let me set everyone straight. Rather, the impetus was my purchase of P.D. James’ Death Comes to Pemberley, and the realization this murder mystery involves characters from Pride and Prejudice.
So, because my anal retentive self cannot read a book series out of sequence, I dug into Austen’s classic. Now, having read and enjoyed it in so many ways, I’ve layed down my prejudice and found a bit of pride.
Whoever said there’s nothing new was so right. The story of the Bennet sisters could easily be transported into modern times. Yes, woman have options other than marriage and children now, and can certainly support themselves. That’s huge. But face it; ultimately, most long for a family like 200 years ago. When I think of my own angst years ago, and I see young women today, I despair that not much has changed, including the bid to make the right marriage. Is he educated, what university did he attend, does he have a good career, what is his family like? Okay, maybe something’s different.” -Amazon Review