Review of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

A book like this has so many covers and they all sort of look the same.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. ★★★★ 1/2

Four stars for my enjoyment of it, the half star because I think so much of it went over my head.

Going into Pride and Prejudice, I already knew who the characters were, all the plot turns, and how everything ended up. I was also expecting to struggle with reading it. There was no way, I thought, that I could possibly enjoy a book written over two hundred years ago focused around marriage. If it wasn’t required reading for school, I would never have picked it up.

But against all expectations, I enjoyed Pride and Prejudice.

With a classic like this, I don’t know how much my review can add to the discussion. After all, people have been reading and discussing it for hundreds of years. Entire papers have been written on it, entire lessons taught on it. How can I possibly say anything new?

So in substitute of a normal review, I’ll just list some thoughts I had on it:

1. I don’t know if it was only my edition, but the spelling of certain words was completely different, for instance “shew” and “shown.” Is this a normal British spelling, or has the accepted spelling changed since Austen’s time?

2. A lot of the humor passed me by. There were points when I’d read a line, then have to go back over it before I was certain that Austen was being sarcastic.

3. The characters are all very well realized and come across as real people. In this regard, it’s better than most older texts I’ve read. Elizabeth Bennet is also very admirable.

4. I did experience a certain disconnect with their way of life. I keep thinking, “What do they do all day?”

For any fantasy fans who like Jane Austen, I would highly recommend Jo Walton’s Tooth and Claw. It’s written in the same sort of style and has the same sort of society with the focus on marriage, but it also has dragons. Seriously. It’s Pride and Prejudice with dragons (i.e. wonderful).

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