Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, is a classic most of us remember from English class in high school or college. You can download it on the Kindle and Kindle DX for free along with many of her other beloved books including Emma and Persuasion. Jane Austen does an excellent job of caputuring the essence of ninteenth century courtship and marriage.
Pride and Prejudice features the Bennetts, a country bred family with aspirations to move up on the social ladder. Their income and way of life is at the hands of a distant relative. If Mr. Bennett dies, they lose everything. So, the future is in the hands of the Bennett daughters who must marry for financial security and for good social standing.
After meeting Mr. Bingley and his friend, Mr. Darcy, Mrs. Bennett sets out to marry them off to at least one of the her daughters. Mr. Bingley quickly takes to Jane, the oldest daughter and they enjoy a pleasant relationship and marriage.
Much of Pride and Prejudice is focused on Elizabeth Bennett, the second oldest daughter. She is sought after by Mr. Collins, but the feelings aren’t mutual. So, he settles for Elizabeth’s friend Charlotte instead. Society today can still appreciate the distinctions of marrying for love versus marrying to settle. The emotions of jealousy and longing involved are timeless.
The relationship between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy is an unlikely one because they have to overcome the obstacles of conflicting personalities, as well as interference from Mrs. Bennett. In efforts to not reveal key parts of the story, I urge you to pay attention to how their relationship unfolds. Elizabeth is smart, has a great sense of humor and deals with the issues with her siblings and meddling mother quite well. She shows traits of independence and intellect that is unusual for women of that day and time.
It all depends on your literary preferences. Some really connect well with Pride and Prejudice and Austen’s other novels. Others find it boring. Austen does such a great job of developing her characters and interconnecting their lives. She also has a very unique writing style that will always be revered in the literary world.
What do you think of Austen’s books? Do you have a particular favorite?