As I’m sure most people obsessed with books are aware today is he 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s most famous novel, Pride and Prejudice and I couldn’t let this pass without marking such a momentous occasion. I reread the novel about a year ago (review)and haven’t watched any adaptations recently, but that doesn’t mean I can’t remember how amazing this novel is.
So what is it about this novel that makes it such a popular read 200 years later? I can’t speak for everyone who adores this novel, but I am sure I can hazard a guess at a few good reasons.
Firstly, and arguably most obviously, is the relationship between Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy. How can you not fall in love with these characters and will them to be together? They are so blinded by their own pride and prejudice (see what I did there!) that they can’t see what is under their noses, and haven’t we all been guilty of that at some point in life? Elizabeth is so head strong and sure of herself that the reader wants her to succeed and outwit those irritating characters who try to tell her what they want her to do, and Mr Darcy is many women’s perfectly moody romantic hero.
Couple this with Austen’s simplistic and witty language and you have a novel that is a delight to escape into every time you pick it up. Austen is a master at creating hugely entertaining and loveable characters; even the annoying ones like Lydia are still a joy to read about and secretly hate!
I was watching a feature on Pride and Prejudice on the news this morning and a lady made the fantastic perception that thanks to Colin Firth’s wet shirt portrayal of Mr Darcy, a new generation of readers were introduced to, and consequently fell in love with Darcy, Elizabeth etc. Being all of 7/8 years old when the BBC made this adaptation, my introduction to Pride and Prejudice films comes from the more recent film version starring Kiera Knightly, so I am slightly bias and prefer this version, but I admit I can see the attraction on this one.
Oddly enough films are not the only spin off merchandise you can buy related to this novel, and on my little internet browse of book covers I found some lovely book confetti and a beautiful poster version on the novel too! Sadly I can’t afford to purchase anything as I am on the move yet again, but I can dream….