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Classics Reimagined, Pride and Prejudice Hardcover – Unabridged, October 1, 2015
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"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."
Next to the exhortation at the beginning of Moby-Dick, "Call me Ishmael," the first sentence of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice must be among the most quoted in literature. And certainly what Melville did for whaling Austen does for marriage--tracing the intricacies (not to mention the economics) of 19th-century British mating rituals with a sure hand and an unblinking eye. As usual, Austen trains her sights on a country village and a few families--in this case, the Bennets, the Philips, and the Lucases. Into their midst comes Mr. Bingley, a single man of good fortune, and his friend, Mr. Darcy, who is even richer. Mrs. Bennet, who married above her station, sees their arrival as an opportunity to marry off at least one of her five daughters. Bingley is complaisant and easily charmed by the eldest Bennet girl, Jane; Darcy, however, is harder to please. Put off by Mrs. Bennet's vulgarity and the untoward behavior of the three younger daughters, he is unable to see the true worth of the older girls, Jane and Elizabeth. His excessive pride offends Lizzy, who is more than willing to believe the worst that other people have to say of him; when George Wickham, a soldier stationed in the village, does indeed have a discreditable tale to tell, his words fall on fertile ground.
Having set up the central misunderstanding of the novel, Austen then brings in her cast of fascinating secondary characters: Mr. Collins, the sycophantic clergyman who aspires to Lizzy's hand but settles for her best friend, Charlotte, instead; Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Mr. Darcy's insufferably snobbish aunt; and the Gardiners, Jane and Elizabeth's low-born but noble-hearted aunt and uncle. Some of Austen's best comedy comes from mixing and matching these representatives of different classes and economic strata, demonstrating the hypocrisy at the heart of so many social interactions. And though the novel is rife with romantic misunderstandings, rejected proposals, disastrous elopements, and a requisite happy ending for those who deserve one, Austen never gets so carried away with the romance that she loses sight of the hard economic realities of 19th-century matrimonial maneuvering. Good marriages for penniless girls such as the Bennets are hard to come by, and even Lizzy, who comes to sincerely value Mr. Darcy, remarks when asked when she first began to love him: "It has been coming on so gradually, that I hardly know when it began. But I believe I must date it from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberley." She may be joking, but there's more than a little truth to her sentiment, as well. Jane Austen considered Elizabeth Bennet "as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print". Readers of Pride and Prejudice would be hard-pressed to disagree. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Austen is the hot property of the entertainment world with new feature film versions of Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility on the silver screen and Pride and Prejudice hitting the TV airwaves on PBS. Such high visibility will inevitably draw renewed interest in the original source materials. These new Modern Library editions offer quality hardcovers at affordable prices.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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This reviewer thinks Marvel Comic's adaption of "P&P" can fairly be called a success. Writer Nancy Butler and artist Hugo Petrus capture the essentials of Miss Jane Austen's classic romance in graphic novel format. Inevitably, the storyline has been compressed, and the dialogue was been slightly modernized, but fans should have no problem recognizing the story of the Bennets, the Bingleys, and Mr. Darcy. The best of the dialogue has been preserved while those readers familar with the 1995 BBC TV presentation or the 2005 movie version will recognize a somewhat similar visual presentation.
"Pride & Prejudice" the graphic novel is very highly recommended to those Jane Austen fans looking for a way to introduce their digital-age children or grandchildren to a classic romance novel in a form that is apt to hold their attention, and perhaps motivate them to read the original.
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters."
As one woman to another and this time more seasoned then the one who has read this work a few years ago, I love the common sense applied in this work to judgment of character. Unlike in my previous years, this time I noticed right away inconsistencies in the anti-protagonist character of Whickam. To put it simply, in a man’s words do not match his actions, the man’s character is at best is suspect. More to the point, Austin warns us that in long term relationships, even more then affectation, we should seek mutual respect toward each other not just of the heart but of the mind, if we hope that our relationships will endure. In other words, no matter how much we may like the person, if we do not respect him, the content of his mind, his sense of dignity and his moral grounds, no amount of heat, passion, and interest can hope to maintain a relationship. This is a lesson I sadly did not fully grasp when I first read this novel as a young adult, and now that it has taken me 37 years to learn it, I find it very sad that I can only find it affirmed in Austin’s work, instead of having had the advantage of grasping it as a life lesson decades ago.
As to the subject of the two main characters, its interesting how different they both appear to me now as opposed to when I was younger. I recall thinking Mr. Darcy, in the past, to being the best man possible. I had a bit of a girl crush… But not now. With what I think is a much more sober mind, I find him, especially in the beginning, to be haunty, aloof, oafish, rude, lacking in class and basic social skills, and completely inappropriate, and if I find this with the eyes of a woman who lives in the 21st century, I cannot imagine how this stood out during the time period when this book was written. Likewise, I find Elizabeth also non-sensibly proud, rude, prejudist, pessimistic, and taking too much pleasure in finding flaws and fault with people (although so many do deserve it.) In short, the Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy that we meet in the beginning of the book are in no way people we would like to be friends with, even in modern times! I have asked myself, then, why this deep affection for a character in a book. What I can say is, with some amazement actually, is simply the power and force of his love for Elizabeth. He changes his behavior, his entire demeanor, because he loves her that deeply, and because that love teaches him the greatest lessons of his life. He evolves as a result, something most people seldom do. He is able to evolve because his core characteristics, who he is at his core, was sound. His love for her has made him a better man, and this, I think, teaches us not to love Mr. Darcy, but to love the potential in all men that we encounter. That potential exists for many. This example is presented to all. Will the men in our lives take it? It is a choice that is up to them.