This week marks the bi-centennial (that’s 200 years to you and me, Russ) of the publication of Jane Austen’s celebrated masterwork Pride and Prejudice. P & P is an acknowledged classic, beloved by generation after generation of readers enraptured by Austen’s memorable portrayal of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy’s complicated but ultimately triumphant romance.
I’ve never read it. It’s up there with a host of other classics I’ve somehow managed to avoid. It’s a long and distinguished list, I assure you.
But in P & P‘s case, I aim to amend my omission. After all, two hundred years is an awfully long time for a book to be kicking around the culture and it must still be popular for damn good reasons. Like most people, I’m often up half the night wondering…what’s so great about P & P? What makes it worthy of all the attention and acclaim? Is it the love story? The satirical portrayal of Victorian gender roles and social schema? The audacious beauty of Austen’s prose? The sexy girls on the cover? So, on behalf of everyone who’s ever meant to read the novel but hasn’t found or taken the time, I’m going to read it and write about my experience.
(Care to join me?)