Happy 200th Anniversary, ‘Pride and Prejudice!’

Good morning, friends!  I hope you enjoyed the weekend!  Alas, it’s moan Monday, but here’s some good news:  today marks the marks the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

it-is-a-truth-universally-acknowledged

[source]

What—you don’t know the anniversary of one of your favorite books?

Yes, I’ve read this novel more times than I can count, and this book seems to get better and better each time.  Even though I liked Pride and Prejudice when I finished it for the first time in middle school, I definitely grew to appreciate it after each subsequent reading; there’s no better way to start high school Christmas break or college winter break than paging through a favorite book.

Even though the story takes place in the 19th century, Austen’s text defines timelessness.  Elizabeth Bennet is one of my favorite literary heroines, and I relate to her on so many levels.  Pride and Prejudice contains so many timeless characters—I know people who so closely resemble Mary Bennet and Charlotte Lucas it’s scary—and fortunately or unfortunately, there was a George Wickham-esque character during my high school days. (Interestingly, it took me a while to make the connection—I felt like I knew him from somewhere, yet couldn’t put my finger on it—so I didn’t make the Wickham distinction right away.  However, this dude eventually proved to be a 21st century, high school version of this character.) So, even though Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice two centuries ago, the characters she crafted proved to be universal, timeless, and totally spot-on—you go, Jane!

jane-austen-doll-2010

Just a Jane Austen doll at The Strand.  Totally normal, right?

Anyway, I have no probably admitting that I’m a Janeite“the self-consciously idolatrous enthusiasm for ‘Jane’ and every detail relative to her”—so it should come as no surprise that after my high school graduation, my parents and I traveled to London, and we also visited Bath for a few days, mainly to visit the Jane Austen Centre.

jane-austen-centre-bath

2008 throwback.

jane-austen-centre2

welcome-to-the-jane-austen-centre

My mom and I were in heaven, and my dad was such a trooper!  Although he did “read” Northanger Abbey—at least every other page.

In college, I even took a class titled “Jane Austen in Film.” (Liberal arts institution for the win!) We read a bunch of her books—including Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, and Mansfield Park—and then watched and analyzed their film adaptations.  Oh, and we also took a country ball dancing class.

elizabeth-and-darcy-pride-and-prejudice-movie

[source]

Dancing might not seem challenging, but I was a hot, sweaty, and confused mess by the end!  During Austen’s days, dancing and attending balls allowed young people to interact with each other—away from the watchful eyes chaperones.  Plus, an individual’s proficiency on the dance floor was thought to be directly related to how good of a spouse they would be. (Remember how Mr. Collins royally messes up and proves to be an embarrassment?) After taking this class, I couldn’t imagine looking presentable (aka not sweaty), dancing gracefully, and engaging in witty banter.  Talk about pressure!  Although I would solider through the above if I got to wear one of those gorgeous dresses.

jane-austen-dresses

[source]

And speaking of dancing, the Netherfield Ball is set to take place this spring.  Anyone want to go?

Of course, going to a ball brings up the dividing question among Pride and Prejudice fans:  Who’s your Mr. Darcy—Colin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen?

pride-and-prejudice-mr-darcy

Sigh.

Have you read any of Jane Austen’s classics?  Which novel is your favorite?  Who’s your favorite literary heroine?

19 responses to “Happy 200th Anniversary, ‘Pride and Prejudice!’

  1. Oh, I don’t know if I can decide! I love Pride and Prejudice, and I think the most surprising thing to me about Jane Austen is just how witty and deceptively funny she is. I don’t think a lot of people know that.

  2. Oh my God that hey girl at the end from Collin Firth, amazing. I’ve of course read Pride and Prejudice, but only once in high school (for fun, not assigned). I love Elizabeth Bennet and I’m sure the book would mean even more to me reading it at the age I am now. That needs to go on my to-read list.

  3. Ughhhh I love Pride and Prejudice. I usually read it around New Years but didn’t get a chance to this year. Both the Darcys are adorable, so I can’t decide. Also, you should read Persuasion if you haven’t already. I read it for a class I took in college and loved it.

  4. Pingback: Pride and Prejudice: A History in Pop Culture | A.Soul.Fluorescent

  5. Does it count that I almost finished Pride and Prejudice, and Zombies??

  6. I love Pride and Prejudice. We actually read it again in one of my college English classes and I definitely liked it much more then the first time I read it. That always seems to be the case. Shakespeare anyone? Love it now but was NOT a fan in high school 😉

  7. I haven’t read Pride and Prejudice, it was never required in my high school. I don’t know if I would like it to be honest, but I would definitely give it a shot.

  8. 200 years? WOW! I re-read Pride and Prejudice last year as an adult (vs. forced reading in high school) and loved it. And now, thanks to this post, I want to re-read it again. I would totally die to be able to don a period dress like the ones pictured above; so timeless and beautiful.

  9. you will hate me, I haven’t read that book or even seen that movie. eek

  10. Pingback: MrMary Reads: What’s the WORST book to read on a trip through the US? | A Spoonful of Suga

  11. I LOVED this post! So glad to know someone else loves Jane Austen’s work as much as I do 🙂 I’ve read all of her books (read them when I was in London, making it extra cool) and seen most of the film adaptations of them. Colin Firth will always be my Mr. Darcy, but I think Matthew MacFayden did a great job.

    • Clearly, I’m obsessed with all things Jane. 😉 Did you see Colin Firth in “What a Girl Wants?” It was so weird to know him as Darcy and then see him portraying a hot dad, lol.

  12. I’ve actually never read these! I used to hate books/reading when I was younger, I only started to love to read midway through college.. So I’ve had a lot of catching up to do!

  13. I’m a Sense and Sensibility girl. Love all the pictures in this post. I’m also a total sucker for any period movie. Ever.

  14. I love that the 200th anniversary of P&P is introducing a whole new audience to this novel. Also loved your story about the Mr. Wickham in your HS! We should all be lucky enough to recognize a rascal from a literary reference. 🙂

  15. Pingback: Pride and Prejudice Paper Dolls! | molly buffington

  16. Pingback: Pride and Prejudice: A History in Pop Culture | Dani's Trekking Bookshelf

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *