“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
Two hundred years ago this week, those famous words were published.
Happy Birthday Miss Elizabeth Bennett. Happy Birthday Jane and Mr. Bingly and Mr. Darcy. Happy birthday to the salacious Mr. Wickham and the sad Charlotte and the pretentious Mr. Collins. Happy birthday to the impetuous Kitty and the dramatic Mrs. Bennett and the wry Mr. Bennett.
Happy Birthday Pride and Prejudice.
There are a few books out there that wrap around our collective hearts and don’t let go. Jane Austen managed to write one of them.
I remember reading the book for the first time and hating Mr. Darcy at the beginning, as you do, and admiring Lizzie’s wit and strength. When I learned more about the time period in which the book was written, that strength – that counter-cultural independence – became even more profound to me. She turns down a proposal. She’s old and she may have lost her chance, but she turns it down to wait for the right man. She turns down Mr. Darcy after he’s been unkind to her and her family. She respects herself. She’s witty, but kind.
As I grew up and began to see the pressures put on me by myself, by society, by circumstance, and how easy it was to fold, I realized just how strong a character Jane Austen had crafted in Miss Elizabeth.
Of course, the pressures on me were less subversive. Should I settle for a graduate school I didn’t like because I felt I wasn’t good enough for the one I really wanted? Should I fling myself at every available guy in college so I have the self esteem boost of having a date? Should I be bland and witless to fit in?
What would Elizabeth Bennett do? That is the question we must all ask ourselves.
So today on the blog, I thought we could have a P&P love fest. Tell us your favorite Jane Austen book or favorite Pride and Prejudice character or favorite moment. Tell us what you like or hate about the book. Tell us your favorite memory reading the book or watching the movie. Tell us which is your favorite movie! Tell us anything P&P related!
My favorite P&P memory is having the six-hour version with Colin Firth play on repeat during finals week in college. My roommates and I studied to it, relaxed watching it, and knew it would be on when we returned from the tests of the day. It became a tradition in our apartment. The movie equivalent to a security blanket.
My second-favorite memory is watching this awesome fake trailer that makes it look like a melodramatic nightmare…or as my sister called it, a movie of stares.