01 September 2013

Jane Austen Book Club: Pride and Prejudice

Such a late review for my July book Pride & Prejudice for The Quintessentially English Jane Austen Book Club that Erin started at the beginning of the summer. It's been such a good idea and I've very much enjoyed reading through Jane Austen's novels.  Join anytime if it's something you'd like to do! Here's some other posts done for P&P from people participating in the book club: Selena @ Oh, the Places We Will Go! and Holly Nelson @ English Girl Canadian Man

I like to throw a bit of controversy into my discussions with friends sometimes. Just wait for a lull in conversation, coyly look up and say..."So...Colin Firth version or Keira Knightley version?" 90% of women will know what you're talking about.

For the record, I prefer the Keira Knightley version. When I first saw it (Pride & Prejudice of course), I thought it so well cast. I will always love Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, but there is something about Matthew Macfadyen that is just...smoldering.

After just finishing reading Pride & Prejudice for the first time ever, I might add, I found the Knightley version even more suitable. But I really need to get around to watching the Colin Firth one to conduct a truly fair trial. (In the name of research, I am taking the task on now. A Sunday for an all out Austen-binge. Lost in Austen was finished in the morning and now we're on to the Colin Firth Pride & Prejudice 6-hour glory.  I know how to do a lazy Sunday right.)

If you've never read the book before, I think you're quite missing out. Unlike Mansfield's Park, which I'm reading for August and have failed miserably at getting sucked into or finishing within the month, P&P is quick paced and absorbing.

Off the bat you hate the mother, love Lizzy and Jane, and can't wait for new characters to come into play. Mr. Collins is beautifully put into color before your eyes as absolutely annoying and dreadful. You get excited for the introduction of Mr. Bingley and his guests and, truth be told, you won't like Darcy upon meeting him. That's the way it's supposed to be. Just like Lizzy's character, Austen makes you wait to warm up to him.

When approaching the book, it may have helped that I've seen the story line and heard the characters names over and over again throughout many different re-imaginings of the story. There are many renditions of Pride & Prejudice so reading the book is approachable and I was not confused easily. (As opposed to Mansfield Park, where every time I put it down, then pick it back up, I forget who some of the smaller characters are and need to flip through already read pages to pick the familiar threads up again.)

I am so glad I've actually sat down and read through Pride & Prejudice finally. It is sure to be a book that I can use in the future to self-soothe with (step away from the wine bottle, Lindsay) and have already found myself being comforted by a recent viewing of the Keira Knightley movie (albeit, with wine). I've been mentally keeping a list of the books and movies I must take with me to London when I head over to grad school (*pending visa*) to help distract me from any lonely moments when I find myself with nothing to do but feel homesick. It was a great tactic to use when I first studied abroad. My main objects of comfort being the DVD's of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Bridget Jones's Diary, the Harry Potter books and a book called Postcards From France by Megan McNeill Libby.

If you're very much into chick lit, fiction that includes a world of manners and etiquette or consider yourself an Anglophile, you should definitely read this book.

So, which do you prefer, Firth or Knightley version? (And can we still be friends since you know I love the Knightley version? I have many other fine qualities!)



  1. Love the post Lindsay! I do enjoy the Keira Knightly version myself, but I will still always love the Colin Firth one! And I'm with you when it comes to Mansfield Park! No hope!

    What did you think of Lost In Austen?

    Erin | Quintessentially English

    1. Rewatched the Colin Firth one with my sister and fell in love with it again. I think it has it's amazing, charming qualities, but the Keira one is definitely a quicker pace bc it's so much shorter! Also...I'm still struggling with Mansfield Park, but determined to finish it by week's end!

      Loved Lost in Austen! I think it's just a great fluff piece and I'm a sucker for voiceover narrative. I can really relate to the lead...though I wasn't a fan of their Darcy much.