Walking in Miss Elizabeth Bennett’s shoes,…my thoughts on “Pride & Prejudice” by Jane Austen

Posted Monday, 16 September, 2013 by jorielov , , 8 Comments

Parajunkee DesignsPride and Prejudice by Jane Austen | originally entitled: First Impressions, written approx. during October 1796 – August 1797, at age one and twenty| Austen herself re-titled the manuscript, having made revisions to the story in 1811 and 1812. |originally enscribed as written: By the Author of “Sense and Sensibility”

Published by: Whitehall , in January 1813 | originally published in America as Elizabeth Bennett or Pride & Prejudice in 1832

Page Count: 490 | originally spilt into three volumes of a whole [based on the edition I am reading: Barnes & Noble Collector’s Library: pocket-sized unabridged edition]

[side note: I wish I could have collected more of these at the time! As I only was able to pick up the pocket edition of Dickens Oliver Twist, before they pulled these from the shelves!]

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Acquired Book By: This is quite a good question, as I know I purchased it at Barnes & Noble at some point, but as to when and how or why, I yield that my memory is a bit fragmented! I only remember taking it off my shelf originally to read ahead of the [2005] adaptation that was soon in theaters, and I feared I would not finish it in time!

On why I choose this to be my first reading, for Austen in August an annual reading challenge hosted by Roof Beam Reader: I wanted to begin at the beginning of my experience with Ms. Austen, and that meant going back to my original choice of Pride and Prejudice, as I was thoroughly enchanted by the notion of the story, long before it ever populated in my mind! You will find that this is a ready experience that repeats itself in my reading adventures! Books and motion pictures walk hand-in-hand in my life, despite the fact that I am generally a purist, in wanting to read the book prior to watching the motion picture and/or limiting myself to which sequel authors I want to become engaged in reading, as I always feel they should honour the canon.

I originally planned to read my coveted collection of Austen novels, as I had purchased the full set of her works out of a book club I have long since forgotten which I was a member of [this goes back to when mail-order book clubs were all the rage in the mid-to-late ’90s], as they had such wonderful cover art featured on each volume! It was a gift to myself to celebrate my birthday one year in my twenties, and I wanted it as a counter-balance to the lovely set of Sense and Sensibility books my Mum had gifted to me around the same time frame! She had found an exclusively lovely edition of the novel, as well as the full screenplay and story of how the adaptation of 1995 had been produced. It was my intent to read the book, then the screenplay, and lead into watching the motion picture! Alas! I had to give in to the fact that my mind couldn’t yet settle into Austen’s brilliant prose, and I tabled the idea for awhile. Then, a few years went past, and in 2005 on the foot heels of Keira Knightley’s version of Pride about to hit theaters, I was quite determined to get into Jane Austen! I picked up this lovely pocket edition from Barnes & Noble, [as much as I prefer indies, my area has none!] as I am forever attached to the original cloth-bound pocket editions of centuries past! I love the comfortable ease to hold the tomes, as much as it feels like I am reading as readers read in a different age than the one I am living in myself! Therefore, with this new version in hand [daresay, how many editions do most end up collecting?], I embarked on completing the novel before the motion picture left the theater! A full fortnight passed, and I was anxiously worried that the film might leave our cineplex, only to be relieved that it hadn’t and I promptly found myself elated by what was unfolding in front of me! As it began, I noted the creative liberties, but I also had the re-collective memories of what I had read, as it nearly felt for the first half of the film, that I was both reading a subtext of narration alongside the live action!

I wanted Pride to serve as a proper starting off point to entertain sequel authors for the first time in my reading life! I sought out everything that my local library could give me, and came to appreciate the offerings long before I ever could read them! As soon as I checked them out, one by one, I would love over their covers, inlets, and read the synopsis, awaiting the day where I could dive into the heart of their stories! Except to say, that August played out a bit differently than I forethought it would:

Whilst I launched JLAS, I undertook Austen in August, declared my intent to read Books of Eyre, contributed a piece to The Clockwork Carnival, settled into Bout of Books, 8.0, participated in the first Blog Pen Pal Exchange, encountered an illness, a 4-day migraine, technical difficulties during the Bout & afterwards [more than half the Bout’er blogs wouldn’t load – who knew I needed to switch browsers!? I *love!* SeaMonkey now!], waylaid by fierce lightning and thunderstorms, AND just when I was thrilled to bits about all the lovelies I am reading, the hours ticked off the clock and I arrived at September before I could make a backwards glance and wonder, “Where did dear August go off too!?” I even found time to sort out which weekly memes I want to contribute too: Sunday Showcase (#1, #2) and Library Loot being two I felt best to start on, prior to finding WWW Wednesdays! September started with a surge of excitement, as I participated in my first Book Cover Reveal [Love at First Slight by J. Marie Croft] and my first Blog Book Tour Stop [The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate]!! All the while attempting to make headway on the list of books I had garnished to read throughout the month! In the end, I learnt a hard lesson: there are only so many hours by which you have to find the balance to accomplish everything you set out to do!

I decided that I would take a step back in September, arranging my goals into my day planner journal, and giving myself the freedom to have a bit more flexibility to truly enjoy the blogosphere events as they alight in my life! I feel like I couldn’t give as much of my heart to Austen in August, nor could I complete the Bout properly either! I need to compose my Wrap-Up Posts to where I can put it all in a better light and scope! There is, of course, the addition of wanting to get back to my pen, ferret off dearly owed letters and correspondences to the most patient friends a girl could ever hope to know, and knit my UFOs into finished objects I can be proud of!

One measure of gratitude in knowing that I wasn’t the only one who fell a bit short on their reading goals this past month, was the lovely PM I received from our Host Adam! I am not sure if he realised it or not, but he encouraged me to know that all of us run into issues or difficulties time to time, and if the overall reading experience trumps the stress of the insanity that came up whilst we endeavoured to complete our goals!? Then, we succeeded triumphantly! In this way, I feel more encouraged than ever in my next goal that is attached to Austen in August, is Classics Re-Told! A collective reading challenge, where each of us picked a ‘team’ to be on, and which ‘work’ we wanted to explore via the canon and after canons! Being that I had already chosen mine for “Pride and Prejudice”, I attached myself to 19th Century & Gothic Classics, hosted by Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy! I am going to read “Persuasion”, the few after canons, and Sandition to participate in Author of the Month hosted by The Joyful Bookcase, December’s selective author! In this way, I will be accomplishing the original goals I set forth to attempt!

English: "Reading Jane's letters" - ...
English: “Reading Jane’s letters” – Elizabeth reading Jane’s letters – Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. London: George Allen, 1894, frontispiece. (Photo credit: Hugh Thomson (1860-1920) (Lilly Library, Indiana University) [Public domain, PD-1923],
via Wikimedia Commons)

The ready exchangement of letters and correspondences warms my heart evermore: One of the best instances of the merits of immediate and intimate conversations to be freely conversed by way of letters and correspondences, is the inter-relation of characters in “Pride and Prejudice”. Theirs was a life that would never have superseded their own home front news, if not for the passages of letters by way of footman. In our own century {the 20th and 21st}, some of us still rely on news reaching our loved ones and friends alike by the same vein as Elizabeth and Jane Bennett!

And, what is humbling to denote, is that such a letter that was dispatched between Mr. Darcy and Miss Bennett, is one that I can readily attest as to have happening to a couple I know whose union was nearly thus disrupted had the man not had the fortitude as Darcy, to spilt his heart into the pen of his hand, and give way, to the felicities of the heart by which his companion had not yet expressed or were readily known unto herself! It’s not everyday you strike up a direct connection with a portraiture of literature, that has had such an affection placed inside your own life, by the story of another!

You’ll find that letter writing and correspondences shall become a bit of a mainstay on Jorie Loves A Story, as I am seeking out ways to bring to light this beautiful exchangement of lives, that some might readily dismiss as having ‘long since lived its proper due’. In my left sidebar, there is a particular section that lays to mind my attachment for envelopes, letters, stationeries, stamps, and the various minutiae of what any correspondent could ever possibly hope to find amongst their cherished supplies! Thus, time to time, due take a bit of a ganderment at my cross-referenced ‘topics’, curiously attuned to the category of: Epistolary Novel for forthcoming mentionments in literature, and of Letters & Correspondences for all others!

On why Pride and Prejudice is a story that I could re-read at least once per year: Singularly, my heart is full of rejoicement and giddy enraptures of what is yet to follow the very first page, of the very first chapter! It always begins rather innocently, as Mrs. Bennett merely wants to see her five daughters well-married, to self-sufficient men who can establish their well-being long after Mr. Bennett, her husband is put to the grave! A bit macabre of a denouncement at first glance, until you realise that there is a clause in the family’s inheritances which prevents the girls from benefiting from their father’s estate; as they were bourne the wrong gender! This is what opens the story to the novice reader of Jane Austen, of whom, wants readily to become acquainted with her collective works and might have picked this as a starting point! I have noted of late, that there is a bit of a disconnect amongst Austenites & Janeites (as I identify as the latter), as to where this story fits in with their love of Austen! Some I noted are a bit disinterested in the story forthwit, whereas others might lean more towards one of the other stories, but not as readily into this one. If any of those particular readers read this, I’d be deeply encouraged to hear their point of views as to what has caused a bit of a rife or rather, a bit of a disagreement on the benefits of the story!? Perhaps it’s too strongly viewed as a classical attempt of making a fluffy modern chick-lit!? I am being presumptuous here, although a rare slight of my own character, it’s been known to happen, that it’s difficult not to make presumptions in certain instances! As for my own regards to the story, I do not view it in the same light as the modern counterparts, as there is such a hearty breath more to this story, than the agreeable notion of young girls marrying before they enter their thirties!

I get forever wrapped up in the state of the affairs of the Bennett family, from the doting father, to the impossibly repentant Mrs. Bennett, who is both vain and shallow, yet affable in her attentions to her daughters. Outspoken to a fault, and determined not to be outshined by another family in the same district, I truly always sided that somewhere in her bosom, she had the right attentions; merely went about them in the wrong manner! Jane, Elizabeth, and Mary Bennett are the sisters that I always find myself to be able to have learnt more of, as they stand out in my mind as the sisters who have more to give than Lydia and Kitty. Kitty, however, is less in reproachment than her sister!

Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy: two characters that alight in your heart: As such they should, because they have an enigmatic way about themselves, that endears you to want to see these two make it in the end! She’s blinded to her prejudicial tendencies towards the prideful Darcy, of whom, cannot overlook her class, station, and family! Each are quite the pair in their own rights, as she is fiercely independent and strong! She is fortified by having been raised in a family that believed that each daughter had the bourne right to sort out their own affairs and their own motivations of how they wished to occupy their hours from young ages. Most girls during their time, were confined to structure and lessons, on how best to be in good form to be presented to society, and never, would any other family expect that all the daughters of one, should be ‘out’ for marriage at once! Thus, Elizabeth’s life takes on a new path than most women Darcy has been meeting up until this point! He’s bemused by her, he’s perplexed by her, and he is most especially vexed, too! And, yet, he has found himself repeatedly thinking about her, and drawing himself to be curious to understand her even better than he believes he has from afar! It’s through their tribulations and their small triumphs that you start to see how they become attached to your heart!

You celebrate each small step towards their union, including seeing how everything unraveled to begin with, as it was conjecture and misconstruments that led to such a disgraceful start! She took the word of another bloke for straight-up honesty, and he misconstrued her worth by the wiles of her family! Each of them, have their fair share of faults throughout the story, and Austen does not limit her recollections of each grievance and each misunderstanding! She knits the story together through long and arduous monologues and narratives, that transport you into the living moment of each event! You barely can draw a breath as you turn the page, because your either going to be viewing this from Elizabeth’s point of view or that of Darcy’s!

Jane Bennett vs. Lydia Bennett: If such two could ever be thus compared to one another! Lydia has no common sense, much less decency of character, whereas Jane is tender-hearted, sensitive, and loving! Lydia seeks only to self-satisfy her own personal needs, and desires, whereas Jane is constantly striving towards full acceptance of all she encounters, and endeavours to resolve her mind not to make haste judgements that could lead to gross misunderstandings! I had to smile at this character attribution, because her sister, Elizabeth, is rather quick to judge, and doesn’t mind being in haste of her emotions! I think Elizabeth would rather feel the full-throttleness of life as she’s living through it, rather than to be chaste like Jane, and hold back all inclinations to give over to her human condition! Jane takes life calmly and with affirmation. She trusts in herself and has considered that there are far worse things in life than to be unattached in marriage; even if that were her first inclination to achieve once she was a certain age!

Lydia is a typical follower of the wrong influences, seeking self-gratification and never letting herself get attached to anything deeper of conviction than petty needs and forging friendships with people who can help her advance in life OR be of use to her in some other way. She doesn’t see fit to be a supporter of the family she was bourne into, because to me, she comes off as being a rather self-centered and spoilt child, who never learnt the first or proper way to live without conceited pride! I honestly do not think I can write more on her, actually! She is my least favourite of the Bennett sisters, and I oft was museful on whom Austen structured her of, if there were a real-life counterpart!?

Jane on the other hand, I enjoyed watching in close quarters, whilst she was in conference with Elizabeth! They shared such an enduring sisterhood bond, that I nearly felt as though the Bennett’s had two families in one! With the elder girls separate from the younger three! Except to say, of Mary, the one sister of whom next to Jane and Elizabeth, caught my attention forthwith! It had occurred to me that if Elizabeth hadn’t sought out the truth behind Bingley’s sudden exit at Netherfield, what pray tell would have become of Jane!? It’s quite easy to say you’ll quit the notion of love, but to walk through life without a chance of seeing it bloom!? I feared in time (if Bingley had not returned), she might become harder and less soft.

The secondary characters I questioned their loyalty for their friends &/or family: The Lucases and the Collins families were the ones I took the most angst with, as once Charlotte had married Elizabeth’s cousin (who inherits Longbourn, no less!), I noticed that his letters’ to Mr. Bennett became much more frequently, and always to absolve or rectify some grievance or instance of which he found fault with the Bennett’s! Such high piety for a man of the cloth! And, perhaps that is justly so, as I know some branches of religion are quite strict, but ooh! To have a relation that calls you out on every error, every fault, and every circumstance that might not quite go the way you had hoped!? How tolerable I found the Bennett’s and how agitating I found Mr. Collins! I was not surprised that Charlotte and Elizabeth’s friendship felt estranged and strained prior to her visit at the parsonage. It was nearly as though through marriage Charlotte had morphed into a new body and soul! Her parents, the Lucases were not much better in character, and here I shall leave their revealings for the reader to find them!

My overall review of Pride and Prejudice:

The story of Pride and Prejudice, will always be rather dear to me, because of Elizabeth Bennett. I feel as though from the very first opening chapter until the closing of the last, I am walking in Ms. Elizabeth Bennett’s shoes. Struggling at times to understand the indifference of her family, and the qualms that beseech a singleton whilst attempting to understand the opposite sex. She is bemused and befuddled by the man named Darcy, who from the onset makes no attempt to gain her attention, and has an ill-view of her family overall. She is a second daughter, in a family of five, who is deeply attached to the love and affection of her father, and is at times, more at quells with her mother, who tends to put the family in a bad light when out in public; due to the nature of her outbursts that do not always comply with the social norms of the day in which they live.
It’s a story that is full of intrigue, as far as knowing the full extent of how the unfolding events in regards to her sister Lydia will properly affect the four Bennett sisters who are left outside of matrimony, and yet, it is also a plight of a family’s survival once the provider has died, as there is a clause (or stipulation rather) in the will, that depicts the true heir is a male. In this case, a cousin named Mr. Collins, who is quite a disagreeable match for young Elizabeth! Even I, would have balked at such a choice! And, firmly would have asserted myself as much in the same vein as she did with her own father!What makes this such an endearing classic for me, is that the Bennett family rallies and bands together through thick and thin. They may have their fair share of disagreements but at the heart of the family, is simply that: their a family bond in love and do care about the happiness of each other. And, like most dysfunctional families, they at times, go about showing this affection in quite the wrong manner!It’s Elizabeth’s determination not to settle for someone less than her equal and a man of quality, that makes me endeavoured to love her! She stands firm in her beliefs, at all costs, and she isn’t quick to acknowledge a grievous mistake or misunderstanding, but her heart and spirit, does not allow her not to oblige a concession when the need arises that she has to omit a fault made on her own behalf. She lives strong and loves deeply. And, I appreciate that she is completely true to herself throughout the sequence of her life we are given to seeing her. She is a woman who is sorting out how to live and how to proceed forward in her life, by not limiting her options, nor settling for what she knows will be wrong for her heart. For in marriage, as Ms. Bennett and I both know, one must lead forward with one’s heart, and be entwined in true love for the relationship to last forevermore.

My thoughts on sequel authors: One of the key requirements I have when deciding about which sequel authors to read OR not to read, is whether or not they have written their new contribution to the story by giving proper credit to the original canon. This goes in my mind to include the proper setting of story, pace, and use of language, as there are quite a number of sequel authors who take more liberties with their contributions than I am willing to accept! Unfortunately, some spin too modern of a tale for me to be satisfied that the canon was upheld, and whenever I see colourful language eking into the dialogue and narrative I all but cringe outright! When you’re going to write a sequel to a highly well-known and beloved 19th Century story such as “Pride and Prejudice” (although you could insert ‘any’ story into this example), you must know, that for the most part, most of your potential readership is going to want to stay true to that original style!

In this way, it takes me quite awhile to sink into a sequel author’s work, as I am looking for certain ‘tells’ that this is an author who celebrates the legacy of the original writer (in this case, Ms. Jane Austen!), and yet, takes a new thread of discovery that not only embodies the original, but takes the reader on a new journey, that seamlessly shifts forward and or back, given the methodology of the writer at hand. I appreciate all sequels that bring us closer to the world by which Austen created, yet gently giving us a bit more of it, than what Austen could give us herself. I appreciate the same usage of language and turns of phrase, the older stylings of taking time to tell a story, rather than to resolve it rather quickly and make a person feel whip-lashed! I like hearty text with a hearty story, fully brought to life with characters that stay with you, and endear you to them long since the book is put back down!

I suppose in some ways, I would be considered a purist in most regards and yet adaptive in others, as most purists to the original canons will not entertain a sequel on any grounds. I think each contribution has its place, as there are as many different perspectives to come into “Pride and Prejudice” as there are readers who navigate the offerings. I think if each of us decides what she or he is willing to accept, then each sequel author will surely find the right reader for their works! If I bypass one book for another, odds are someone behind me will select it and pass on the one I that I choose in return! Such is the beauty of being individualistically unique in our reading patterns!

I am, of course, mindful that others’ might have a different approach? And, if any of them drop by my blog, I do hope they might entertain me with how they approach the sequels in the commentary!?

My thoughts on motion picture adaptations: I am not to say unyielding when it comes to motion picture adaptations, as the 2005 screen adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice” did take creative liberties, and yes, did segue away from the original leanings, but there was enough included for me to pick up the story and the pace by which I have come to love! It still held the charm and the essence of what makes this story alight in my mind as a joyous memory! And, that makes the difference for me! I know too, that once I see Colin Firth as Darcy, in the 1995 adaptation by the BBC, I am most likely going to claim that as my favourite by far, yet as I haven’t yet seen it, I am at this time without an all-time favourite adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice”.

I can attest that even re-tellings in motion picture have their time and place, such is the example of “Bride and Prejudice”, which gives us a Bollywood touch and feel to the story! I am most encouraged that a story, an author, and a setting so distantly removed from our modern era, can lead to such extraordinary developments! I think this signifies that the story is universally accepted, understood, and known. It’s a story that sinks into your heart, and there are more than one way to have it properly represented. I am encouraged by the number of adaptations that are available to view, as I want to slowly work my way through each of them!

I suspect that even if I were to go back and watch the classic film versions, and shift forward again through modern eras, I am going to denote not only the differences of the film maker’s choices of what to include or exclude, but the changes in the perceptions of the actors and actresses who played the cast of characters that have charmed their way into our hearts! They are characters that leave an impression on you, due to their character development in the book, and the way in which they are presented to having had lived their lives. Some are wholly acceptable and curious to see in live action, whereas there are a few that leave you feeling rather vexed and anguished for their inclusions, yet they are still essential to the underlining of the story! In this, I find it most curious to see how each actor who takes each part will attribute which character traits that their character demands of their attention. I can find myself quite curious indeed as I progress through the adaptations!

On how I appreciated to be a part of *Austen in August*: There is something to be said for getting a group of like-minded and enthused readers together, to celebrate an author that they each love quite so dear! For a very long while, I was wondering if I would ever run into or get to converse with other appreciators of the 19th Century literature classics, that have intrigued me for most of my life! Books and stories that I have always wanted to take the time to delve into and alight long enough to have their impressions wash over me. These are the books that are not always readily accepted in our living generation as books that still hold merit, but I think, there are times in life when you have to seek out the right readers and the right circles, where your interests lie alongside the majority rather than the minority!

Thus, is how I felt when I stumbled across “Austen in August” and had had the high hopes of being able to read at least 10 sequels of Pride and Prejudice, after having completed reading the original text, and then, taking up Persuasion (and two of its sequels), before continuing into Sandition. My reading missteps already having been noted, I wanted to focus instead on what the month provided and how happy I am that I was able to take a glimpse into the world of ‘The Classics Club’, as well as the world of Jane Austen readers, who like me, are always eager for an opportunity to re-visit OR read her works for the first time!

Archive List of all Austen in August Posts on Roof Beam Reader – I sort of ducked in and out of the festivities as they were in progress, as I was participating in Bout, and finding that my hours were slipping faster than I could achieve everything I wanted to do! Therefore, what I appreciated the most was being introduced to the author: Sally Smith O’ Rourke, (contributed a guest post) who penned the books: Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen and The Man Who Loved Jane Austen. As much as I enjoyed the introduction to author Carol Cromlin, (contributed a guest post) who wrote the book Fitzwilliam Darcy, Such I Was. The flexibility of posts that our host gave to us throughout the month of August, is something that I appreciated very much, as he not only highlighted the finer points of Austen, but touched on the appreciation of Janeites & Austenites, as much as the endearing attachment we all have with Jane Austen!

An unexpected treat, was received by the author Ms. Cromlin, who upon the book being given to two fortunate winners, gave the rest of us the option of receiving bookmarks by Post! Her book, alongside Ms. O’ Rourke’s are two sequel authors I look forward to exploring in the future!

On how I was thankful to be included at the last minute for *Classics: Re-Told: 19th Century & Gothic Classics*: A silver lining and a bit of redemption at the same time, is how I came to view the inclusion of this wicked sweet reading challenge, which is a bookish blogosphere event to celebrate the works of the classics, but through the eyes of as many different bookish bloggers as possible! I had originally stumbled (you will notice this to be a trend; nearly everything I participate in, is ‘stumbled upon’ at rather the golden hour!) upon this event having thought it was closed for participants, but much to my absolute delight, Charlene had informed me that I could still join in if I so desired! Desire? I jumped, no! Leapt at the chance! I quickly set to mind which books to keep from ‘Austen in August’, and which books to ferret over to ‘Author of the Month’, and which, might just have to drop off completely if they didn’t cross-relate!! I even kept a few that I thought would work with the theme of what we were attempting to accomplish! In this way, I am most grateful to be a latecomer to ‘Classics Re-Told’ and look forward to seeing the rest of my contributions come to life!

An unexpected surprise discovery, art inspired by Pride and Prejudice:

| Slideshow of “Inspired by Pride & Prejudice”, the story unfolds in storyboard format,
curated by Jorie, featuring DeviantArt(ists) |

| Deviant Artists & the Titles of their Works |By Order of Appearance |

“Pride and Prejudice” by flominowa; “The Bennett Sisters” by PrimeHunter; “Elizabeth” by rynarts; “Pride and Prejudice – II” by MigraineSky; “Assembly” by gppr; “Original Regency Cloak” by Abigal709b; “Pride and Prejudice” by PatiMakowska; “Pride and Prejudice: The Ball” by EveyAmmond; “Pride and Prejudice I” by Isa-Wyrd; “Pride and Prejudice – Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth” by Madmorumotto; “Darcy’s Letter” by Kriegerin; “Pride and Prejudice” by WonderSara; “Jane’s Letter” by RaindropMaster; “Keira Knightley” by BarbaraMariaPoleszuk; “Pride and Prejudice VII” by MigraineSky; “Mr. Darcy’s Letter” by sive; “Keira Knightley” by AuroraWienhold; “Lizzie” by perselus; “Darcy and Elizabeth – detail” by gppr; “Mr. Bennett” by perselus; “Pride and Prejudice” by Pad-Mil; “A most unwilling subject” by gppr; “Mr. Darcy” by baronpluto; “Jane Bennett and Mr. Bingley by gppr; “Mr. Darcy” by manapia; “Lizzy and her Dad” by kakao-bean; “Pride and Prejudice Cover” by jessijordan; “His Pride, Her Prejudice” by hitora; “Bennett Sisters – Pride and Prejudice” by BlueFairy123; “Pride and Prejudice” by mademoisellek; “Pride and Prejudice Storyboard” by wahay; “Pride and Prejudice Bookmark” by Kitty-Grimm; “Pride, Prejudice, Markers” by Pau-Norontaus; “Pride and Prejudice I” by theancientsoul; “Pride and Prejudice” by MaryMaru; “Pride and Prejudice” by Lily-Hbp; “Pride + Prejudice: Hands” by Ladamania; “Pride and Prejudice” by Ines92; “Pride and Prejudice” by FinAngel; “Collide” by KuaKness; “Pride n’ Prej: Jane + Bingley” by flominowa; “Pride n’ Prejudice: Liz + Darcy” by flominowa; and “Pride and Prejudice” by milfei.

Jorie Loves A Story | @DeviantArt

This marks my first [& last!] contribution of participation in reading (Jane) Austen in August! I Austen in August badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Carli Jean (Public Domain : Unsplash)had been hopeful that before the close of the month [August], I could have added at least five more selections from the list I purported to being possible ahead of my blog’s launch! I fear, I have slighted myself a grievous error, in not allowing myself the proper time and attention I was attempting to give this challenge! Which is why dear hearts, I originally was going to extend the challenge, when I came upon a posting about “Classics Re-Told” via Bookish Whimsy!!

Classics Re-Told badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Cas Cornelissen (Public Domain : Unsplash).This post also serves as my first contribution piece for Classics Re-Told: 19th Century & Gothic Classics, which is hosted by Bookish Whimsy! I was fortunate to happen upon her post on 3 September, and confirmed my acceptance on the 5th of September! In this way, I shall be continuing onward and upwards with my goals! I am most appreciative that I was able to continue to give my original intentions such a hearty spotlight and not to discontinue reading the books that I discovered to include, which have become quite dear to me!

Due to a variety of circumstances, mostly of technical difficulties in nature, I have been forthwit delayed in my posting of this entry!

Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
Source: Purchased | Personal Library

Genres: Classical Literature, Romance Fiction

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Published by Whitehall

on October 1796 - August 1797

Format: Portable Hardback Edition

Pages: 281

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Monday, 16 September, 2013 by jorielov in 19th Century, Austen in August, Classical Literature, Classics Re-Told: 19th Century & Gothic Classics, England, Regency Era

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8 responses to “Walking in Miss Elizabeth Bennett’s shoes,…my thoughts on “Pride & Prejudice” by Jane Austen

  1. Ari Augustine

    Konnichiwa Jorie!

    I love this entire post. We’re actually reading several adaptations of Pride & Prejudice and comparing them to the classic. It’s quite interesting to see how this story continues to speak to readers and inspire writers further. Our professor discussed why different adaptations seemed to work for different audiences. I preferred the 2005 version to the one with Colin Firth, mostly because I liked the more shy, socially awkward and feminine Mr. Darcy. Apparently, according to my professor, many millennials preferred the 2005 version (some kind of social science behind that), but I recently became made aware of 2 BBC versions: Lost In Ausen & Death Comes To Pemberley. Both took creative liberties but if you haven’t seen either of them, it might be interesting to watch :)

    Also, the original title of Pride & Prejudice was “First Impressions” but because the publishers at that time didn’t like it, they switched to the alliterative title we all know. I never knew this until recently. To me, both Elizabeth and Darcy have their pride and prejudice, and I think their “first impressions” of one another blind them to these faults, which are exposed over time in the novel. I feel the first title might have been more directly appropriate but I can see the abstract poetry in the second, as it points to (as you mentioned) everyone’s own flaws in some way.

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about this great classic!

    • Hallo, Hallo Ari,

      I should have mentioned to you as soon as I saw this comment if you’ve heard about “The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen” series? I’ve read and reviewed two of three novels in the series itself – you’ll find my reflections on Part I and on Part II. I’d love to know if this is one of the authors you might have stumbled across as a sequel author? I’m quite particular about the ones I’ll read who are carrying the canon forward as I want to find the writers who honour the canon but then, create their own niche outside it – similar to why I appreciate the Mary Russell series by Laurie R. King (and why that series is on my #BackListReads2019 list!).

      Uniquely, most of the re-tellings and after canons I’ve been seeking out are actually a riff on PRIDE; I’m unsure if it is because its the first JA novel I’ve read and appreciated or if it is the fact I like seeing how new authors are interpreting the legacy of PRIDE. Recently, I read a portion of the new PRIDE novel during #Mythothon which I thoroughly enjoyed and want to finish this year whilst I need to finish the first Jane Austen Mysteries during August. I have a lot of hope this is the August I can pull together my JA readings as I’ve been struggling for a few years to accomplish that during #AustenInAugust.

      You might get a kick out of reading this lovely post though as it links to my guest essay!

      Interestingly you mentioned this – for a very long time, I was thinking the question of who is prideful and who is full of prejudice is a trick question! I oft-times felt both characters fit that bill rather nicely as they each had their own share of pridefulness and they each were prejudicial of the other.

      I read this strictly to see the Keira Knightley adaptation – my parents surprised me with the boxed set special edition of the Colin Firth edition which I need to still watch one day – however, I’ve seen Keira quite a few times already and it holds a special place in my heart. Not for keeping in step with the story-line as they took a lot of liberties but because of the cast — the cast is what made that version memorable because of what they put into their roles and how they emote the essence of what Jane Austen wanted them to portray. I have a feeling I’ll love both editions for different reasons. I’m not a millennial though as I’m GenX – so in theory, that isn’t always the case! lol

      Ooh I *loved* Lost in Austen Death at Pemberley is on my #mustread + #mustwatch list – I just found the audiobook via Scribd so I’m hopeful I can get to it this year!

      I don’t mind creative liberties as long as I can find something I personally can attach to in the variation I am either a) reading b) listening to or c) watching. It also boils down to personal interest on whichever story is at hand and also, how we each approach after canons in literature, film and tv.

      I’m wicked thrilled you’ve found this and I am dearly thankful you’ve shared your ruminative thoughts with me!!

  2. Lovely, lovely post! Will respond in more detail as I want to dive into so so many of your points and observations.

    I attempted to read P&P as a young adult and it went over my head so I gave up on Austen a bit to wallow with the Brontes (I might be a lesbian but I have quite a soft spot for Heathcliff!) — then I seemed to see only Austen films rather than read the originals. But once in college, I inhaled S&S and Persuasion — and they remain my two beloved favorites.

    My wife, who loves P&P (although Persuasion is also her favorite) is reading it aloud to me now, and it’s been quite a fascinating experience. For one thing, I have a hard time remembering Lizzie is 21 — she really reminds me of my 30-something single girlfriends! — but at the same time, despite her wisdom, she really is quite young and I feel real sympathy for the way she has to wrangle her parents and sisters.

    I have to admit, I’ve been unable to enjoy the comedy of the parental Bennetts this go-around — I mean, they’re hilarious in a trainwreck sort of way — but I get now more just how detrimental they were to their daughters. (Perhaps having my own aggravation toward parents at the moment has colored my opinion!)

    And I’m loathe to confess this, but the Darcy & Lizzie romance leaves me cold (I will admit I am also unswayed by Jane & Rochester in JE, so perhaps I’m broken!). This time, however, more than when I was a kid, I can appreciate the way pride and prejudice have shaped Lizzie and Darcy, colored their opinions of each other, and in that sense, I’m more appreciative of the push-pull between them. Of course, we’re not finished yet — we’ve just passed the first proposal — so perhaps in the end I’ll be swoony.

    Finally, re: sequels — I am wildly in love with Susan Kaye’s sequel/retelling of Persuasion from the viewpoint of Wentworth. Set up as a trilogy, the first two books retell Persuasion while the third is a sequel. The first two books had me in raptures. I’ve not yet come across a sequel for P&P that’s gripped me as much, although I’ve a few retellings in my queue I’m eager for, including one set during WWII. But then again, I’m not a purist — I see these retellings the way I do those that reimagine famous fairy tales or myths.

    Well, so much for my brief response but will dig in more. I might try to do Austen in August next year — I overschedule myself so much I can rarely participate in these sort of themed reads, and I’m sad when I don’t!

    • Hallo, Audra!

      What a sweet surprise to find you on my blog today!! :) I am ever so thankful that you clicked over, and am most keen to see your next responses! Did you know that I am reading Jane Eyre?!! If you click the *Septemb-Eyre* badge in my sidebar, you’ll be brought to the archive post, which will re-direct you to each post thereafter! I am a full week behind in my readings, as I fell ill last week, and was wrecked to read more! In this way, you’ll find that I will be posting my second installment when the fourth is actually do! I am hoping I can complete Eyre during the last hours of September, but if I am not, I am not bowing out, I am simply the one walking through the challenge a bit delayed, but with a chin held high! I am loving this read-a-long so very much, and I have three of the Septemb-Eyres who are waiting in the wings to see what I post next! :)

      I will have to relay my full impressions of Rochester as I read him, as you will understand my apprehension to say more when you view how I came into Eyre originally! I will defer my response to this thread,…

      Ahh, Persuasion!! The one book that has vexed and whet my curious heart! I had originally intended to read it along with a friend of mine (off-blog/off-line) however, time swept away, and neither us truly could appreciate the motivation needed! I believe she ended up reading it at some point, and I never could wrap my head around it! I do remember picking it up once, and was quite befuddled by the first chapter and felt no inclination to continue at that time! I decided then, whilst participating in *Austen in August*, that I should include it, and get through it finally! I am now hopeful that when December starts to shine brightly and leave an air of curiosity for the New Year about to break forth and dawn; I too, will finally now the merit of joy in having read Persuasion! Stay tuned!! I am reading it as part of *Author of the Month*, as laid out in my *Absorbing Lit* page, as that is where I house all the Books I Read per Annum! :)

      Isn’t that curious!? You and I experienced the same with Pride, at our first go-around!? I was never even sure why the language was a block to me, but now that I am happily into the text, I cannot think of taking a break! I sort of eat up the older English phrases and words like a hungry caterpillar who gets excited over each new discovery OR new way of usage!!

      I loved hearing the story of your wife reading to you, as I think spoken readings of books provides an intrical layer of understanding the text! In this way, I recently (as you know, you commented on it!) discovered a new appreciation for audiobooks! I always appreciated the inflictions and tone my Mum could enchant me with whilst she read to me when I was younger, but there are times, I ask her to read something aloud and I can see the words light and spark into new dimensions than I had previously read them flat on the page! Some words, and some books, breathe into a new life when a voice is given weight behind them! In this way, I am a bit envious of you, to have this cherished experience! How lovely! Thank you for sharing such an intimate piece of your reading life!

      “…in a trainwreck sort of way” – The most ingenius of expressions to lament the issue! Love it!

      I am going to see about the sequels for Persuasion and if they are available to me in December! You have given me much to consider and ponder, and for that, I thank you! Drop back anytime!!

  3. I loved reading this informative post (for instance I didn’t even realize Jane Austen came from such a large family!) I’m much more of Bronte fan (as you know) but I do love Austen’s world and characters. As for adaptations and sequels – at least when it comes to Jane Eyre I’m all for them. I love seeing what other people bring to the story or characters. Sometimes it is a disappointment, but at least I can say I tried it out. I can’t believe you haven’t seen the Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice though!! You should definitely pick that up soon and drop all reading to watch it. :) Even this Rochester gal is not immune to Firth Darcy’s charms. :)

    Fantastic post Jorie!

    • Hallo Charlene,

      As foresaid to Karin, I had to take a bit of a brief hiatus from responding to comments, but I am back now to give my replies! I always appreciate seeing you drop by my blog, as you give me such a clear window as to how your receiving the observations that I am departing! I love the interplay of our conversations, as its quite lovely to finally find like-minded souls who can converse about literature! Nor did I, in that regard, as I haven’t dived into that aspect of her life, as of yet, as when I attempted to read Becoming Jane ahead of the motion picture’s release of the same title, I found myself a bit betwixt wanting to know more of her own biographical informations and keeping her a more elusive part of my memory! Sometimes I find that if I dig in to deeply into the biographies of authors I appreciate on this level, their real lives start to supersede their fictional legacies! OR, perhaps I get too emotionally invested! Laughs.

      What did impress though, is the dedication of protection that her brothers afforded her! That was one of the most heart-warming gestures I have come across thus far, into my forays of reading classical literature!

      On the level of Mr. Firth & the BBC 1995 adaptation: I promise I will forthwith watch that version as soon as I am able to locate the lovely gift that my father gave to me! I know this might sound a bit foolish as most public libraries carry the version, and I could simply borrow it — but it was such a beautiful surprise that my Dad realised how much this particular story meant to me, to give me such a gift as this boxed set, I couldn’t in my heart of hearts forgive myself, if I were to watch it outside of seeing the set he gave to me! You’ll be amongst the first to know its been re-discovered and seen! (I do believe this will be sometime next year,…)

  4. What an interesting post to read!

    Some thoughts on sequels – I have read some and so far there is only one that I liked. The very famous P.D.James (author of crime) published Death Comes to Pemberley a few years ago. It’s a crime story that takes place on Pemberly a few years after the marriage. As I love P.D. James’ novels I loved this one as well and you can feel the respect that P.D.James has got for Jane Austen and her writing.

    I have always thought that the first title (or intended title) was much better than Pride & Prejudice, First Impressions, because it is thruly a book about how First Impressions can go wrong. Though Pride & Prejudice isn’t bad either… What do you think?

    • Hallo, Hallo Karin! :)

      Sorry for such a delayed response! I had to take a brief hiatus over the past week, but I am coming back strong now! :) I am thrilled to bits that you enjoyed this post!! Its such a dear book to me, as the characters have become entwined with my heart, and I am thankful, that my love of the book is able to still showcase the breadth of what Austen left behind for everyone to find!!

      I keep hearing a rumouring about Death Comes to Pemberley, but I have always been hesitant to read it, as I was always under the direct impression that Ms. James writes straight-up hard boils, whereas I am a cosy girl who appreciates books ‘just this side of hard-boiled’!! I always have to monitor the thematics and the level of graphic violence that I entertain whilst I read, and being on the fence, (as to not know one way or the other), I have held off! Do you think its manageable and able to be enjoyed for a reader like me!? OR, is it too intense?!

      I was quite keen to hear that she is a sequel author who gives proper homage to the canon & original author! I am finding that that truly does make a difference for me, as to which authors I am more keen to read!

      I must confess, as I was introduced to the story as “Pride and Prejudice”, I nearly felt that the title might have served instead as a ‘pun’ of ‘personalities’, as it wasn’t insofar as clear ‘of whom’ was more prejudicial and of whom was more prideful during my first reading! In my mind, both Darcy & Elizabeth interchange the attributes throughout the novel at different junctions, and for similar reasons! They live and breathe their emotions and their internal thoughts, whether this is advisable or not, they always strive to remain true to who they are, yet, make an attempt to take in the outside world around them. They have their faults, but so do each of us!

      I admit, your spin on this title, puts it in better perspective, because it aligns the story for what it truly is: a comedy of errors by which the principal characters mislay each other’s intentions time and time again, based solely on their preconceptive observations at first meeting! Everything seems to unravel for them from the jump-start, and so, in this vein, I agree with you! It would have served a duality purpose if the (original) intended title had staid!

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