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Pride and Prejudice–courtship in the early 1800’s

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Pride and Prejudice

by Jane Austen

In preparation for reading Pride, a modern day version of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, with my book club, I decided to reread the original. I knew I could watch a video of the story, but I decided to aim for authenticity and read the actual book. I was glad I did as there is so much to be appreciated in Austen’s words, style, and depiction of characters. In retrospect, I believe my younger self had seen one of the several videos, but had never actually read the novel. I would still like to view one of the movies for an opportunity to better envision the costumes and settings of this period piece, but there is much value to be gained from the reading experience.

Pride and Prejudice is a romance particularly focusing on Jane and Elizabeth Bennet as they navigate the difficult waters of courtship in the early 1800’s in England. Their courses are made more murky by the family’s financial and social status. They are not part of the old monied class that is full of prejudice, but they have standards and they and their suitors are driven at least in part by pride. From a twenty-first century viewpoint, the courtship and rules of engagement seem stilted, but the reader can see in a younger sister’s impetuous disregard for the rules and assumptions of the time, that there are real societal and personal consequences for ignoring the standards of any time period.

I enjoyed the book which is as much about social issues as it is a romance. Pride and prejudice are, of course, themes throughout the book. Most of the characters of the novel grow and develop through the events of the story. Some remain stuck in their ways of thinking, and those continue to be persons the reader won’t like. You may find yourself rereading Pride and Prejudice for love of the characters, the joy of the language, or the journey towards a known ending—happy for some, less so for others.

Rating: 5/5

Notes: Edited by R. W. Chapman. Distributed by Gutenberg Press

Category: General Fiction, Romance

Publication: 1813—T. Egerton Military Library, Whitehall

Memorable Lines:

“Affectation of candor is common enough;—one meets it every where. But to be candid without ostentation or design—to take the good of every body’s character and make it still better, and say nothing of the bad—belongs to you alone.”

Without thinking highly either of men or of matrimony, marriage had always been her object; it was the only honorable provision for well-educated young women of small fortune, and however uncertain of giving happiness, must be their pleasantest preservative from want. This preservative she had now obtained; and at the age of twenty-seven, without having ever been handsome, she felt all the good luck of it.

“You mean to frighten me, Mr. Darcy, by coming in all this state to hear me? But I will not be alarmed though your sister does play so well. There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises with every attempt to intimidate me.”


  1. WendyW says:

    I read this again last year, and I enjoyed the writing so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Carla says:

    I have never read the book, but seen several movies. I keep saying I am going to read some Jane Austen, but as of yet, it has not happened. So glad you enjoyed this one, Linda.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jenna says:

    I have never read this classic, I need to amend that!! Thanks Linda~

    Liked by 1 person

    • lghiggins says:

      With all of the books coming out that are remixes or have references to it, it is time to get on board. I’m glad I did; now I know what the “fuss” is all about.


  4. LA says:

    I love this book. End of discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gretchen says:

    The more Jane Austen I read, the more I like her. I will admit that she has not always been an easy read for me and I didn’t love Pride and Prejudice when I first read it. It has been several years since I last read it and am due for a re-read. I have read several of her others novels since then and I have really enjoyed them, so I think my next read of Pride and Prejudice will be more enjoyable. Glad you enjoyed it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sounds like a great book. I would much rather read a book then watch the movie. The book is always better in my opinion. Thank you for your review Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I appreciate your view on courtship and social issues of the early 1800s. After Thanksgiving, my classes are beginning The Importance of Being Earnest, a satire poking fun of those same issues in the late 1800s. I’ve never taught this one before, and the kids will need context. I’m lesson-planning today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lghiggins says:

      I’m sure you will have some interesting lessons. I have been in love with The Importance of Being Earnest ever since I was in a high school production of it. You really get to know a play that way.

      Liked by 1 person

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