Trigger Warning: This novel and it’s review contain descriptions of and mention the following topics: relationships, heartbreak.
Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
Year Published: 1813
Pride and Prejudice is probably one of my top favorites when it comes to classic reads.
In the novel, the reader is introduced to Elizabeth Bennett and her family- her conservative father (Mr. Bennett), a gossipy, eager-to-marry-her-daughters-off mother (Mrs. Bennett), and her four sisters- Jane, the fair and beautiful eldest sister; Mary, the quiet and studious middle child; and the two youngest, Catherine (Kitty), and Lydia, who are rather excitable, dramatic, and most resemble their mother. As part of a small village town called Longbourn, the women of the family are excited to hear that the nearby Netherfield Estate has been rented by the handsome bachelor, Mr.Charles Bingley, and that there will be a ball to welcome him to the village.
At this ball, Mr. Bingley seems to fall for Jane, dancing with her more than any of the other young women. His friend, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, isn’t as impressed by these women, and shows his disdain in his friend’s poor taste of dancing with a lady below his class. Elizabeth takes note of his surly behavior, despite his brooding good looks.
Shortly thereafter, Jane is invited to Netherfield, but gets caught in the rain and catches a cold, leaving her to stay at the estate. Elizabeth then must walk through a muddy field to tend to her sister, which just adds to what Mr. Darcy considers proof of her poor breeding. However, he can’t help but be attracted to her charm and opinionated nature.
From here, these two find themselves often in each other’s orbit, and despite their pride and prejudice (see what Austen did there?), they eventually come to realize that their love is stronger than their disdain for each other.
I love how much of a whirlwind Austen creates after the ball, and the way that Elizabeth and Darcy spar with each other. Her dialogue is flawless in creating specific voices to each character. I especially enjoy that Elizabeth is so quick witted and strong, allowing nobody- no matter their class- to look down upon her or her family, despite even their worst behaviors. I also have such a love-hate relationship for the drama that Mr. George Wickham stirs up, and the busy-body Mrs. Bennett’s constant twitter of marriage prospects and proposals for her daughter. The additional characters that aid in the plot and create even more dramatics is both frustrating and yet excellent in that you really feel as if this is a small town where everyone is in everybody’s business.
Austen has created a novel that is filled with humor, wit, drama, clever dialogue, and beautiful description that transports the reader into the heart of the Bennett family and their home in Longbourn.
What Makes it a Classic?
Elizabeth Bennett is a rather modern female character, especially at the time this book was originally published. She’s fiercely independent and her opinionated statements are bold for the time. In this way, she connects with many of Austen’s readers, and even Austen herself considered her one of her most divine characters. The dramatics and gossipy nature also lure readers in, and along with the timeless plot line that focuses on classism and love conquering all, created a novel that made it easy for generations of readers to relate to.
TL/DR: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is a classic novel about a young woman who is prejudiced against the privileged and man who is too proud to admit his feelings for a woman who is considered below his class.
Read it? It’s a classic must read for Austen fans and great for those looking to get into classic novels.
Recommend it? Yes, it may be over 200 years old, but this book is still rather modern and dishy for readers today.
Buy it? Yes, especially if you are growing your Austen or classic novel collections.
Watch the movie? Yes! Kiera Knightly is fantastic as Elizabeth Bennett, and it’s such a beautiful tale brought to life on the screen.
If you liked this novel or review, check out these similar reads:
- Emma by Jane Austen
- Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen