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Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

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Author: Jane Austen / Genre: Classic Literature

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    53 Reviews
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      27.02.2014 00:05

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      Truly an English Classic

      This was my first dip into 19th century literature and I am glad I started with Jane Austen. I find her writing subtle, humourous and sparkling. We are carried away into her world, full of manners, strict codes of behaviour, and complex courting rules. The surroundings are described with a very light touch, but still painting an excellent picture for the imagination. The characters are well drawn and interesting, giving far more importance to personality than actual facial features. We cannot help but fall in love with intellegent and lively Elizabeth, continuously by her rather difficult, but well-loved family. And we just know that the upright, slightly starchy, but ultimately good Darcy is clearly the man for her, we just have to wait and hope she will realise it herself before it is too late. I was utterly enchanted by this book and it lead me on to read all of Jane Austen's works, including sense and sensibility, northanger abbey, emma etc All of them wonderful, but my first Jane Austen book will always be my favourite

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      15.01.2014 23:14
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      An essential, witty love story

      This book celebrated 200 years in publication last year and it is quite wonderful, I think, that even after that passage of time I can, and you will be able to, pick it up and read it as lightly and with more delight as I would read any chick lit novel from 2014. That is of course not to deny its literary merits - it's extraordinarily well-written, but first and foremost this is perhaps the most accessible classic novel about. 'Pride and Prejudice' tells the story of Elizabeth Bennet: twenty, witty, vivacious and amusing, the second daughter of five, all of whom are unmarried when the novel famously begins with 'It is an truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a large fortune must be in want of a wife.' It is with this opening line that the irony, the humour and the theme of the novel are all established. Mrs Bennet, Elizabeth's embarrassing, over-eager, frankly annoying mother considers it her one business to see her daughters married, no matter their reservations on the subject of whom to marry. It is a delight to read this, because Austen's dialogue is beautifully witty. The exchanges between Elizabeth, our heroine, and the man who insults her in front of all the company (who else but the famous Mr Darcy?) are so well written; Austen's presentation of characters like Mr Collins is still laugh out loud funny all these years on. It is a love story, primarily, and the way in which it is realised is just one of the many beautiful things about this novel. Love does not restrict the novel though - there's much to be observed in the witty dialogue, 18/19th century view of manners and society, and even the hints of the dark underbelly, what is alluded to but not directly said that mark this as one of the greatest novels ever written. If you have never read Pride and Prejudice no matter your age or sex, please for your own sake read it now.

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        21.12.2013 22:05
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        A gem of a read!

        One of my all time favourite reads, this book is an excellent read and one that I never tire of revisiting. Everything from the structure to the storyline and characters depicted are well written, easy to follow and provides the reader with everything that they would want in a classic piece of literature. I first read Pride and Prejudice as a young girl in school and I fell in love with the characters that where Mr Darcy and Wickham and the way in which the lives of the characters were all entertwined in such a way which was both funny at times, serious at others but overall kept me guessing as to what would happen next. The story is so well written that it almost feels like you can step right into a different era and live the lifes of the characters with them.A real gem of a read for all age groups and one which can be passed down through the generations from grandmother to daughter to great grand daughter one which I some day hope to be able to share with any children I may have.

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          11.06.2013 16:31
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          Interesting story, a well loved Classic

          "Pride",observed Mary, who piqued herself upon the solidity of her reflections, "is a very common failing, I believe. By all that I have ever read, I am convinced that it is very common indeed; that human nature is particularly prone to it, and that there are very few of us who do not cherish a feeling of self-complacency on the score of some quality or other, real or imaginary." PLOT Set at the turn of 19th Century, the story focuses on the Bennett Family, comprised of Mr Bennett; a man who loves nothing more than peace and quiet in his library, Mrs. Bennett, who seems to be only concerned with the fortunes that her family can possess, by means of her five Daughters marrying well. When Mr.Bingley, a wealthy Bachelor, arrives in their Neighbourhood, Mrs. Bennett is determined that he must take one of her Daughters as his wife, and soon endeavours to make his acquaintance. Mrs. Bennett and her daughters all think Bingley to be incredibly charming and handsome, but Mr. Darcy, a good friend of Bingley,doesn't appeal to them at all. He's far too proud to dance at the ball, hosted by Bingley, and looks down on those around him, instantly causing dislike among the Bennett sisters. Elizabeth, the main protagonist of the story, watches as her eldest sister falls for Bingley, and laments when it appears it's not to be. When her youngest sister runs away, and causes disruption in the family, will Elizabeth have time to realise that somebody unexpected is seeking her affections. And will she unexpectedly fall in love? MY OPINION I got this on my Kindle for free, since I'd like to read more Classics, and it seemed the perfect opportunity. Although I enjoyed reading it, I couldn't give it any more than 3 stars, since I didn't get into it as much as I do with some other books. This could be due to the language barrier, since the characters have a different way of speaking, and because the way they behave towards each other is so different from behaviour in modern times. I appreciated the story for what it was, a classic masterpiece, loved by many all over the world. But I just couldn't connect with any of the characters. The only connection I felt was dislike towards some of the characters.I felt a strong dislike towards Lady Catherine De Bourgh, since she's very conceited, arrogant, and ignorant. I disliked the character of Lydia, the youngest sister, but I think the reader is supposed to dislike her. She's the youngest, so she's the most immature, but she's also incredibly selfish, doesn't care about the pain she causes her family with her manners, and doesn't devote even a few minutes of her time to listen to anybody else. Of course, by making me dislike a character in this way, Jane Austen has done a good job with her characters. Lady Catherine and Lydia are obviously meant to be disliked, so the book did make me feel some emotion, which is very important for me. Although I didn't connect with this book as much as I'd have liked to, I still enjoyed reading it. It took a lot longer than it usually takes me to read a book, but it does usually take me a bit longer to read a classic, due to looking up definitions for words every so often(thank you Kindle.) THE AUTHOR This book was first published in 1813, and was well received at it's time of publication. There is no doubt why it's a classic, it's stood the test of time and people still enjoy reading it today. It's a Novel that will continue to be enjoyed for many years to come, I'm sure of it. I'm very interested to read some more of Jane Austen's work, and I already have some ready to be read on my Kindle.

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            03.11.2012 10:16
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            Definitely worth a read, if you are looking for something different

            I have recently taken an interest in reading the classics and expanding my vocabulary, and this book does the trick perfectly. It is a thrilling and invigorating novel and the passion and extensiveness of the literature is definitely worth a read. Jane Austen is a novelist with a very narrow focus that extends over a number of concerns. Her books can appear to many as just powerful romance novels, but are perceived more broadly as sharp critiques of 19th century vanity and cruelty. The novel has a very straightforward structure to it, two people should be together on the first page and then henceforth end up together on the last page. Possibly, my favorite of all the Jane Austen books. Most of the plot focus' on the two Bennett girls and their lust for Charles Bingley and the grave-encountering Mr Darcy. It is Elizabeth and Darcy that are the spur for the plot, through a cultivation of their seeming compatibility and their lack of ability to come together, due to having such low opinions of one another - or at least the belief that the other has a low opinion of them.

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              20.06.2012 13:51

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              Well worth a read

              As the title says this is my favorite of all Jane Austen's books, I feel the characters are really well developed. Mr Collins is wonderfully odious and you do wonder how anyone could ever cope being married to him. Lizzy has a lovey fesity nature and you can't help but cheer her on. As for Mrs Bennett well she is just funny, you can well understand why Mr Bennett spends all his time in his study. We are introduced to all the sisters still living at home and unmarried, and follow Mrs Bennetts determined journey to make sure all her daughters make the best match they can. We witness her embarrassing and attempts to throw Jane and Mr Bingley together. We are also introduced to Mr Bingleys sister who very much remind me of the ugly sisters from Cinderella, they may not be ugly in person but their personalities leave a lot to be desired. Lizzy is my favorite character right from the start I love how she breaks out from some of the ideals of women of the time, and is quite unashamed of doing so. I enjoy watching both her and Mr Darcy grow throughout the novel, as they learn some hard lessons. We also have the side story of Lydia and Wickham, a cautionary tale, to make sure that we continue to keep our morals intact. Jane Austen was very advanced for her time with the concept of marrying for love, which makes this a novel for the true romantic. It also made me think about the values of the time, the concept of marrying for money, or to avoid the stigma of being a old Maid.

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              30.05.2012 19:42

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              Read it!

              Jane Austen books are great because they give you an insight into 18th century life, whilst also being still extremely relevant and ridiculously readable. Pride and Prejudice is a great love story, it's also wonderfully witty and very insightful into the human condition. So often you come across a witty line and think, "god yes, how apt!" As well as being concerned with love and family the book is also preoccupied with class divides and the unwritten laws of society. This is interesting historically but also, you realize how a lot of these divides and laws and prejudices are still in place just slightly changed. People may not have so many servants or carriages but in many other ways they're just the same. It's really a pleasure to read because it is so riveting and so funny. Girls and women will get into the story more then men but I think men will find it just as witty and enjoyable!

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              24.02.2012 18:47
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              Elizabeth & Darcy in a battle of wit and words..penned by the delightful Austen

              It is indeed a truth universally acknowledged...so commences the first line of the book as famous as it is true?.. do i detect some sniggers in the background?.. is it a mans predisposition to be proud and arrogant and a woman's to be indifferent and prejudice? If these statements are no longer true, (?) then it certainly appeared to be that way in Jane's day. There are many complex and competing ideals to the whys and wherefores of Jane's writing. It could not be argued that Jane Austen must have lived to write. Jane examines the close and sometimes fraught personal relationships Elizabeth has with her peers and with her parents, which is often envisaged as juxtaposed. Being one of the eldest sisters in the household, she takes the responsibility upon herself to guide and even educate her younger siblings, which is reflective of how Jane also lived her life. One has to remember that at the time of writing, it was frowned upon for a young woman to be educated beyond what was deemed strictly necessary and if seeking a husband was not her primary concern then not having an interest in gaining an advantageous marriage, she would have appeared somewhat radical. I for one, rather like that. There have been many film and tv adaptions - each bring their own interpretation of the book and attempt to bring it back to life. The thing that stands out to me the most (which is the reason i return back to this book and read it all over again) is that, above all else, humour and a sense of the ironic shines through like a beacon of light. This is reflected most in the 1941 version of Pride and Prejudice starring Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier, which to me will always be the best, despite the appalling costumes. The book is a delight to read, unashamedly poking fun at all who come into her circle, whether they be friend or foe. But it is also genteel, defiant, again unashamedly speaks of her class and of her social standing in the community in which she lives. It is not difficult to draw parallels. 'Why..you would be the last person I would ever be prevailed upon to marry'... justifiably cross with her circumstances, social restraints and barriers and with no other way to fulfill her needs she fights against her feelings for Darcy, while also sensibly admitting to herself that to secure her financial future (for her family also) would be a wise thing to do. I would argue that even in today's setting, the story still has resonance - which I believe is part of the reason why this novel is so deeply loved and engrained into our English culture. We all still crave success and happiness within relationships and social acceptance, we all still want to be loved for ourselves alone and have someone set us apart and to say that we are indeed special and in a household of sisters this could not be more pronounced and yet more fun. This is why Pride & Prejudice will continue to hold a place in our hearts as each time we read it, we are mirroring a reflection of our own needs to love and be loved and not to be judged. to uphold the virtues in which we believe and to support and defend our societal nucleus, that thing we call 'family'.

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              27.01.2012 17:29
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              A wonderful book and a personal favorite that never gets old.

              I was 12 years old the first time I read Pride and Prejudice. My parents had gotten me an abridged kids version for Christmas, and when I discovered I hadn't been reading 'the real' version I rushed to the book store and bought my first copy of this great classic. Many years and readings later this book is still one of my absolute favorites and I can't count the number of times I've recommended it to friends and family. -Plot Summary- Our protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet, is an intelligent young woman with a lively and outspoken personality. She has what can only be called the misfortonue of having been born into a family with very little social connections and bears the burden of having a mother who's sole goal in life is to see her five daughters marry upwards. The pride and joy of Mrs. Bennet is Elizabeth's older sister Jane who is described in the book as being not only the most beautiful Bennet sister but also the most beautiful girl in the neighbourhood. Jane has a much sweeter and less outspoken personality than Elizabeth and because of this Elizabeth is often seen being rather protective of her not un-sensible but easily 'pushed about' older sister. Our story begins with the enterence of the very wealthy and handsome Mr. Bingley into the neighbourhood. When Mr. Bingley rents Netherfield house, Mrs. Bennet is thrown into a frenzy over the prospect of him marrying one of her daughters. When Mr. Bingley forms an attachment with Jane, Mrs. Bennet's social-climbing takes a turn for the worse embarrassing everyone involved. Moving into the neighbourhood with Mr. Bingley are his sister and his very close friend Mr. Darcy. Fitzwilliam Darcy is the main male character in the novel but his initial reception is far from warm. Even Mrs. Bennet dismisses him as a possible candidate for one of her daughters despite his extensive wealth and high social standing because of his aloof and apperant pride. Elizabeth also forms a rather negative judgement of Mr. Darcy after he is overheard making rather unflattering comments about her and her family. I personally hate being given the entire plot of a book before I begin to read it so instead of telling you exactly what is going to happen I'll try to give you just enough to wet your appetite. As we see the narrative unfold through Elizabeth's eyes we see characters we thought were victims turn into antagonists and relationships changing in light of new discoveries. As Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy get continually thrown together we get to bare witness to the development of one of the greatest love stories ever written as pride and prejudice are both overcome. -Personal Note- Every time I read Pride and Prejudice it feels as though I'm discovering the book anew. My entire attention gets captured even though I've read the book so many times and I know exactly what's going to happen. Jane Austen has an amazing ability to write characters that are so easy to relate to that you find yourself simply drawn into the world she's depicting. You find you are not simply reading about what's happening to Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy; you're living the romance along side them. The characters are far from perfect, Mr. Darcy is no saint and has his flaws as does Elizabeth, but that is what makes Austen's writing so powerful. Perfect individuals are boring but complex individuals keep you coming back over and over because you can never fully figure them out. The result is that every time I read this book I long for that same sort of romance and 'great love' that is written about upon its pages and I keep re-reading because there is always some new angle to discover as I get older and my world view changes. -My Recommendation- Everyone I've recommended the book to has had a slightly different experience. Some people simply can't get into it or get over the use of 'old English'. Others, like me, can't put the book down and become life long fans right away. What I tell everyone is that you won't know into which category you fit until you try reading this wonderful piece of literature. If you don't like the book, at worst you've wasted a few minutes or hours but if you fall in love with it, I guarantee you'll realize why this book continues to be so popular generations after its first publication. So take a chance on one of the greatest romance novels ever written and don't miss out on everything it has to offer.

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                16.01.2012 21:27
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                The perfect love story.

                ''You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."--- Darcy speaks of his true feelings for Elizabeth. My favourite part of the whole novel! I'm ashamed to say that even though Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is one of the most well-known and highly respected pieces of literature, I had only heard of it - never mind read of it - last year, as it was a piece in my literature course. Pride and Prejudice is a pleasant story however, not one filled with action, twists or unexpected plots. It is the romantic, love story of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy. The novel follows Elizabeths life in Netherfield in the 1800's, where she lives with Mr. and Mrs. Bennet and her four sisters. With no sons, their estate of Longbourne is passed to Mr. Bennets nephew, Mr. Collins, meaning the search for potnetial husbands for the sisters begins. Luckily, three wealthy men - Mr. Collins, Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley - have arrived, potential husbands for the girls. What makes this book so special, I think personally, is the characters. They are elegantly crafted and incredibly well written. If Darcy was a real person, i'd have snapped him up already. He's proud. He's arrogant. He's rude. But, he's Darcy. His character has been written with obvious exceptional care. I love the fact that he misjudges Elizabeth from the point go, calling her ''Tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me'' to proposing marriage - twice! - later in the novel. Elizabeths character is one where i'm stuck in the middle. Although she has good reasons, I hate that she refuses Darcy, he ends up gutted! But I am in love with Elizabeth and Darcy's unpredictable romance. One minute, Darcy is too proud to even consider Elizabeth and Elizabeth is too prejudiced against Darcy for his pride, and then next minute, they're in love. I also really love the romance between Mr. Bingley and Jane (elizabeths sister). It was a 'love at first sight' type of romance and despite the different social class, difference in wealth and the horrid individuals who opposed their love, they still managed to be together. True love provails! My least favourite character had to be, of course, Mr. Collins. He's creepy, annoying, rude, condescending and the list goes on and on. Especially the worshipping of Lady Catherine de Bourgh throughout, give it a break already. Lydia is another character I disliked, she was deserving of a slap! Cheekily though, i quite liked Wickham. Even though he's a lying, cheating toerag, he definetely made for a good read! Pride and Prejudice is one, from a small minority of novels, that you can pick up, read yet again, and still delve into the enjoyable world of Elizabeth and Darcy. I'm not a fan of mushy romances so i'm glad that the romance is more of an elegant, old-fashioned and refined romance. What defines the book and makes it so special is that despite blinded by pride and prejudice, true love provails. The power of love, eh? This timeless classic has became my favourite novel. It's beautiful, elegant and a novel that should be read by all! I definetely recommend this novel to everyone! It's a must read!

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                  05.01.2012 17:09
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                  Read it once and it's a book you will always come back to.

                  I tend to forget that, although the BBC's production is one of the finest adaptions of a book I have ever seen, nothing is comparable to discovering (and rediscovering!) Jane Austen's classic exactly as it was written. And it was written superbly! Austen's characters have a realism about them which has not diminished in the 199 years since Pride and Prejudice was first published. Her witty dialogue, her insight into the social classes and her ability to write plots with surprise and suspense add extra dimensions to what is often referred to merely as a 'romantic novel'. With each new reading, I discover deeper intricacies of language, and feel girlish excitement about the prospect of blossoming romances. I want to strangle Mrs Bennett, thump Wycombe and make faces at Mr Collins behind his back. And most of all, once I've turned the last page...I want to read it all over again!

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                    17.09.2011 11:54

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                    A timeless book, and for a good reason. an absolute recommendation

                    Jane Austen must be credited with creating the rom com/chick flick format. The boy meets girl, girl hates boy, girl decides she loves boy has been used thousands of times over. And here it is in it's first outing. And it's still the best. The charater of Elizabeth Bennett has been an icon for women for hundreds of years. The 'first feminist' who decided she would choose who she would marry, and only marry for love. How fortunate that man turned out to be dashingly handsome and stupidly rich! Yet still through Austen's writing we believe Elizabeth loves him. We believe Mr. Darcy loves Elizabeth. Mr. Darcy has to be one of the most carefully written charaters of all time. Throughout the book Austen strips away his character, so slowly one barely notices it until the climatic scene where he confesses his love for Elizabeth, 'You have bewitched me, body and soul,' and we realise we are facing a man whos entire life and beliefs have been turned upside down by just one girl. Austen also creates a sub plot that the reader really cares about, that of Jane and Mr. Bingley. 'Never have i seen a couple more suited' Mr Bennett says and i have to agree with him. If ever in literature was there a perfect couple it would be them. And to experience their happy ending, makes for wonderful reading again and again. The book is of perfect size, and intelligent classic that isn't the size of the entire works of shakespeare makes for much more enjoyable reading and means your arms don't ache after hours of reading. Trust me, you will be reading it for hours. This is an incredibly clever book that really is timeless.

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                    21.06.2011 13:09
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                    A novel that is celebrated within literature - and for good reasons

                    Synopsis: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife" - perhaps some of the most poignant and well-known words in English Literature history. Following the story of Elizabeth Bennet as she experiences a certain Fitzwilliam Darcy, Pride and Prejudice is a timeless classic which still has the same impact today - the essence of the story has continuous resonance as pride and prejudice gets in the way of love. Thoughts / Opinion: Pride and Prejudice is one of the few books that I find enjoyable over and over again - a book full of quirky humour and well-written chapters that leaves you wanting more and more. It does not just focus on romance - it is not the slushy lovey-dovey stuff that can suffocate - it is elegantly crafted, I highly recommend it and I am sure that it will continue to be a great success. What stands out most explicitly about this novel is relatively straight forward; Austen uses her great skill to make the social system of this era understandable to the modern reader. Whilst in others it can be too hard-hitting and complicated, Austen's use of her characters within the story allow it to develop in a way that is relatable - most people have had that moment where you think that you're in a different league, Pride and Prejudice brings that to life within this literary setting. I think one of the aspects that prevents Austen's language from becoming too overpowering for the reader new to classics literature is her innate use of wit throughout. In the characters of Mr and Mrs Bennett, she provides some light hearted relief from the love trials of others. In fact, despite the endless number of characters, Austen manages to subtly develop them all to their appropriate degree, involving the reader at every turn. Elizabeth's character is perhaps seen away from the typical romantic female of this era - she is head strong, but sensitive, and knows what she wants. Her ability to turn away from the expectations of society enables the reader to be thoroughly sympathetic to her trials throughout the plot. However, I cannot say that this novel is perfect - what is? What must be said is that, at times, whilst the characters are executed to the highest degree, the descriptive of location and setting are lacking. It seems more to be focused upon the characters and dialogue, rather than where or when. Yet, it may be that it is this lack of description that also allows Pride and Prejudice to stay so accessible. By creating an almost ambiguous setting, Austen lets the reader put their own thoughts and views into the story - it becomes as much their own work and hers, and thus they become involved to a degree which is often hard to find within the typical classics of this era. Austen holds nothing back in her writing, she allows her wit to drive through, the characters to drive the plot and the reader to drive everything, making Pride and Prejudice THE classic romance novel. With its twists and turns making it accessible to all generations, as long as you have the patience to muddle through the contemporary language (and I strongly recommend that you do), it is a thorough joy to read and a novel that I shall continue to go back to for years to come. Author: Jane Austen is one of the most celebrated figures in English Literature; her works have travelled through the generations in one piece. From Sense and Sensibility to Emma, she is recognised by so many people and it may be said that she has helped to carve the romantic genre into what it is today. Recommendations: I actually cannot recommend it enough, if you have to read a few key books - this has to be to the top of your list. Even guys! I love it and, if you are anything like me, I am sure that you will enjoy it just as much.

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                      04.04.2011 19:14
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                      a timeless romantic classic

                      Set in 19th Century England, Pride and Prejudice follows the fortunes of the Bennett family as the five daughters try to find a husband. Jane, the eldest daughter is sweet-tempered and determined to see the good in everyone, even when they are responsible for her own heart-break. Elizabeth, the second daughter is a highly intelligent, headstrong woman. Not afraid to speak her opinions and quick to make judgments of other peoples character. Mary is the bookish middle daughter who takes no interest in finding a husband and Kitty and Lydia and the two youngest girls, empty-headed and always on the lookout for the next officer. As Jane Austen tells us in the first line of her book, 'A single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife' and when Mr Bingley moves into the neighborhood Mrs Bennett immediately chooses him as a suitable husband for Jane. With Jane seemingly happy and on the brink of marriage, our attention falls to Elizabeth and her relationship with the seemingly proud and arrogant Mr Darcy. Taking an initial dislike to each other, Elizabeth seems sworn against him as she discovers his role in parting her beloved older sister from Mr Bingley, but as she discovers there are two sides to every person and first impressions arn't always right. In the meantime however, the eccentric Mr Collins, cousin of the girls and set to inherit their fathers estate, turns up in the hope of finding a wife amongst the Bennett girls. Admittedly not everyone loves Jane Austen's style of writing with its detailed descriptions of everything especially the characters but in my opinion that is one of the features of her books that makes them such classics. Pride and Prejudice is easily her best novel. Love, unrequited love, jealousy, deceit, mothers obsessed with marrying off their daughters, daughters determined to marry for nothing less than love and some brilliantly funny and at times ridiculously behaving characters. The best thing about the characters though is the ability of everyone who reads it to relate to them, how many of us know a Mr Collins or Mrs Bennett?! Good as it is, watching the 1995 adaptation of this book is nothing compared to reading it yourself and falling in love with Mr Darcy and Lizzie as you do so. From an historical point you are completely transported to 19th Century English country life, watching the Bennett sisters fall in and out of life, chase the officers of the military and wind each other up all at the vexation of their mothers nerves. You can even gain some dating tips from the Bennett sisters! (Although i'm sorry to say a certain lake scene from the BBC adaptation is not in the original book!) Happy reading.

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                        31.01.2011 17:33
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                        An enjoyable classic of British literature

                        Jane Austen is an author who many people love or hate. Her detractors will say she is dull and formulaic, her fans will say she wrote beautifully. Personally, I'm somewhere in the middle. Pride and Prejudice is perhaps her best known novel. Set in Hertfordshire, it is about the Bennet family, Mr & Mrs Bennet and their five daughters, Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Catherine (Kitty) and Lydia. Mrs Bennet's main goal in life is securing advantageous marriages for her daughters, and so chases after every eligible man who enters the county. The main character is Elizabeth, from whose point of view we see much of the story. Her sister Jane becomes acquainted with new neighbour Mr Bingley, but the romance seems suddenly ended thanks to the intervention of the infamous Mr Darcy, with whom Elizabeth herself has a changing relationship through the novel. Pride and Prejudice deals with provincial affairs and chaste love affairs of the early nineteenth century. It is not an action packed read, nor is it full of plot twists and surprise. The story is pleasant, but rather mild. The events which shock and stun the characters and cause women to faint or take to their beds ill, seem only moderately surprising to a modern day reader. Austen's novels are very much of their time, so while the story may be gentle, Pride and Prejudice offers a fascinating insight into the lives and loves of the middle and upper classes of the early nineteenth century. There is a strict code of etiquette regarding when you should call on acquaintances, and interaction between men and women. The language used to describe love is on occasion similar to language we use today, but with different meanings - "making love" is used to describe flirting with someone. Pride and Prejudice always seems a very formal novel. The dialogue never seems relaxed, but is very formal - whether Austen has written this as people spoke, or whether she consciously wrote formally as it is a novel, I don't know. Couples in love do not change their behaviour towards each other once their feelings are open - after 25 or more years of marriage, Mrs Bennet still calls her husband Mr Bennet. While we should never judge a book by its cover, the cover of my edition of Pride and Prejudice is worth mentioning. Austen's works have been published in many styles over the years, but there is now a new edition by White's Books, which I have to say has thoroughly impressed me. I like hardbacks, but often find them a bit unwieldy for reading and carrying in my bag. On the other hand, paperbacks are easily damaged and look ratty after a few reads. White's Books have now published a selection of classic books in a pocket hardback edition - the size and price of a small paperback, but with a lovely hardback binding. Pride and Prejudice in this edition was perfect for reading on the train and carrying about in my handbag, and it looks good on my bookcase. It also included an introduction by Kate Atkinson, which came across rather like an essay for English Literature class, and some reading notes. Pride and Prejudice is one of those classic novels which is well worth reading. Jane Austen's work influenced so many who followed her, so why not read the source? Her work may be provincial and gentle, but as far I am concerned that is not necessarily a bad thing. A bit of gentle eighteenth century relief from the more exciting novels and films which are on offer now is really a very nice thing. This review was first published under my username on www.curiousbookfans.co.uk, and a review copy of the book was recieved from the publisher through Curious Book Fans.

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                      • Product Details

                        Elizabeth Bennet is at first determined to dislike Mr. Darcy, who is handsome and eligible. This misjudgment only matched in folly by Darcy's arrogant pride. Their first impressions give way to truer feelings in a comedy concerned with happiness and how it might be achieved.