Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen: Review & Recommend | CLASSICS CATCHUPS

Confession time: I call myself a fan of Jane Austen, but I’d never actually read Pride and Prejudice. Sure, I’ve seen many film adaptations, some more faithful to the text than others (hi, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies!) but I’d never read it. I figured if I was doing all this reading, and wanted to call myself an Austen fan, I’d better do something about that.

Long story short: I love this book. Austen was, in many ways, ahead of her time. Her characters are funny, witty, clever, and determined. Lizzy Bennet is a classic Austen heroine, and her sisters make excellent characters as well. All of the characters in Pride and Prejudice are amazingly written and given unique characters. Even those who make very minor side characters seem to be fully imagined and fleshed out. Sure, there’s a fair few unlikeable characters in this — sorry, but I’ll never like Wickham — but even these are great characters to read. As a reader who prefers character to plot, the hallmark of many of my favourite authors is an ability to write interesting, somewhat sympathetic villains, insofar as they are villains. Austen really nails this.

I’m sure everyone is somewhat familiar with the plot, but just in case you’ve somehow missed all the films, and the films inspired by the story, here’s a basic overview. Girl (Lizzy) meets boy (Mr. Darcy) and they hate each other! Woo! Over time, and past a few other flirtations/proposals, Lizzy and Mr Bennet overcome their initial feelings about one another, correct their wrongs, and finally fall in love. Cute, right? Basically, Darcy’s problem is pride. He thinks he’s above the Bennet family, and looks down on Lizzy’s parents and younger sisters. Lizzy’s problem is prejudice: it takes her a long time to get past her initial impression of Darcy (though, in her defence, she had a right to be angry), and accept his proposal. It doesn’t sound particularly groundbreaking today, but honestly, in the 1800s, a young woman like Lizzy turning down multiple proposals would’ve been a pretty big scandal.

Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen review

I remember taking a while to get into Persuasion, one of Austen’s later novels, when I read it a while ago. I figured I’d have the same with Pride and Prejudice: I don’t often read books from this era, so the style often takes me a while. However, I didn’t have an issue at all, mostly because of the strength of the characters (and already knowing the plot helps…). If you’re a reader who feels intimidated by older texts because of the old-fashioned language and writing style, I’d really advise you to put aside your prejduce (wink wink) and give this a go. Austen was writing for the masses, so her style is pretty straightforward, and for the most part remains so. It will take a bit of adjusting if you really aren’t used to it, but I think if you have an idea of the plot you’ll have no problems.

A complaint many people have about classics, particularly realist novels like Austen’s, is that they’re boring. Sorry but if you’re one of those people, you’re wrong. Sure, nothing wildly unexpected happens, but novels like this really give you a chance to live with these characters for a while, and get an insight into what society was like in the time they were written. Also, I would argue that this book is packed with enough romance and proposals and dances and scandals and disputes that it couldn’t be called boring. There’s so many side-plots and minor characters popping up in this that it never has to feel dull or repetitive. The book is just paced so well! There’s always enough going on to keep the reader gripped, while teasing the bigger plot points to come. Lizzy running into Darcy everywhere she goes? Sign me up. Jane pining over Bingley, while Lizzy tries to get to the bottom of his sudden disappearance? Yes please. Honestly, out of all the male characters in this book, I don’t understand why Bingley doesn’t get more attention. He’s a sweetheart, and never acts like a massive jerk (unlike Darcy). Still, I totally understand the obsession with Darcy (insert Colin Firth gif here. Firth is my Darcy and this is a hill I will die on).

I’m not sure how much more I can gush about this book before it becomes unbearable, so I’ll cut myself off there. To absolutely nobody’s surprise, this book has definitely become one of my favourites. If I do a 2020 Favourites Wrap Up at the end of the year, expect to see this book mentioned! And please do yourself (and me) a favour if you’ve not read it and go and get a copy! Let’s talk about it in the comments!

Rating: 5 stars.

This review also published on GoodReads.

Find reviews for other classic books by me here.

44 thoughts on “Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen: Review & Recommend | CLASSICS CATCHUPS

  1. For a big literature fan, I still haven’t read anything by Jane Austen, but Pride & Prejudice is on my bookshelf
    Ash | thisdreamsalive.com

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is one of my all time favourite books!!! I love pretty much all the characters and I agree with you that they are all fully thought out – as annoying as she is I can help loving mrs bennet 😂 thank you for this amazing review because now I want to re read it!!!!! Great post xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad you loved this!!! P&P is probably the book I’ve reread the most (and I’m generally not a rereader). I just find it so entertaining. When one of my friends found it boring I couldn’t understand it either—the plot turns are pretty dramatic! There’s deception, betrayal, a lot of scheming, a runaway sister, an elopement, etc. And it’s funny too! Ack, I’m also gushing in your review. I love this book too and I’m glad it’s a new favorite for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. […] 6. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen. 5 stars!Look, we all know what this is about right? Girl meets boy, boy is rude, girl hates boy. Boy loves girl, girl rejects boy, boy grows as a person. Girl loves boy! Girl and boy marry! Classic. If that just spoiled Pride and Prejudice for anyone, I’m sorry. But… it’s Pride and Prejudice! Anyway, I admire Austen most ardently (see what I did there…). Read more of my gushing in my review. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I personally love PnP. However I found when I begun reading, it took me a while to get into it. Though after being able to get into it, and reflect upon it, I realised how empowering the story is. And the characters are amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think because I knew Austen’s style already I settled in fairly quickly! It’s just amazing, so glad you loved it too

      Like

  6. I loved reading your review! I remember that I had to read parts of Pride & Prejudice in high school and I absolutely loved it. Will have to read the full story soon 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.