Sunday, June 28, 2009
Pride and Prejudice
The title: Pride and Prejudice
The author: Jane Austen
Publication: Crown, 1981 (org. 1813)
Got it from: Mom, Easter 1996
So if this were a normal review, right now I'd be telling you about the plot and what I liked/didn't like about the book. But this is me, and I ask you, when have I ever given you a boring review? So let's get the good stuff over with right away, shall we? Let's talk about MR. DARCY. I was thinking about this when I was reading P&P, and wondering if there was a woman in the world who didn't go insane for him upon reading this novel. I did try to steel myself against his charms. I tried to be all cynical and mature and weary of all the hype, but dang it! Austen just puts these clever romantic line in and I got all melty inside, like if I'd eaten cheese maybe you could have a fondue party over me.
[Just as an aside, I keep meaning to take notes when I read. Really, it would help me. I can never find what I'm looking for when I go to write my reviews.]
"no sooner had he made it clear to himself and his friends that she had hardly a good feature in her face, then he began to find it was rendered uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her dark eyes."
Yep, you're a goner, Darcy.*
"Darcy had never been so bewitched by any woman as he was by her."
"More than once did Elizabeth, in her ramble within the park, unexpectedly meet Mr. Darcy. She felt all the perverseness of the mischance that should bring him where no one else was brought, and, to prevent its ever happening again, took care to inform him at first that it was a favoourite haunt of hers. How it could occur a second time, therefore, was very odd!"
And it goes on. Suffice to say, there has been much discussion as to why women love Mr. Darcy so much. He's rich and handsome, but so are other Austen heroes. Each reader gets to imagine Mr. Darcy in her own way (I know I did), but the same can be said for almost any romance novel hero. My theory is that if you combine all the factors (rich, hot, disdainful but secretly nice) and add them to the fact he falls in love with Lizzy despite his and everyone else's objections, that's powerful. Who isn't insanely jealous of Lizzy, who can make a man fall all over himself with lust just by being herself? It is the Ultimate Romantic Fantasy.
Yeah, there's other great stuff here too. Witty social commentary. Great characters - Mr. Bennett in particular always makes me laugh. Evocative descriptions of the English countryside. Emotional depth. But saying I read this book for these reasons would be like saying I watch Dr. Who for the science. If you catch my drift. And I think you do.
Fifty giddy stomach butterflies out of fifty.
*Sarah at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, calls this the "I don't wanna like you. I don't wanna love you. Damnit, I can't stop thinking about your hair!" phenomenon.