Challenges - Awesome Author Challenge
'Pride,' observed Mary, who piqued herself upon the solidity of her reflections, ' is a very common failing, I believe. By all that I have ever read, I am convinced that it is very common indeed; that human nature is particularly prone to it, and that there are very few of us who do not cherish a feeling of self-complacency on the score of some quality or the other, real or imaginary. Vanity and pride are different things,though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.'
I actually feel I need to take myself in hand and scold myself for the fact that it has taken me so many years to actually open the pages of this book. How adorable and wondrous was this book?
I am not going to retell the story, because I feel that it is as old as time, and one so well publicised through film and TV adaptation. Even without picking it up I knew it was a love story involving Elizabeth and Darcy. Yet it was so much more than that, it was singles night in the 1700's. Ladies to the left, gentleman to the right, pick your partners and away we go.
I absolutely adored Mr Darcy and shall forever fight in his camp. I think he is the most misunderstood character of all time. He admitted his wrongdoings and went to extreme lengths to repair the damage he had created in order to win the hand of Elizabeth. Personally, he had my consent by the first marriage proposal, but that may have been due to the visions of Colin Firth playing the character. However, I completely understand Elizabeth's reaction to his proposal and if I didn't fall so easily for good looks, I would have given him what for too. In that day and age, speaking to man like that, would have probably resulted in more repercussions than occurred, but Darcy took it on the chin and vowed to change her mind.
Some of the characters within the book, were mind numbingly stupid and would have received sharp words from myself. Lydia, what a frivolous and immature young girl she was. She deserved to end up with the rogue of the male admirers. Mrs Lucas, what an unfortunate mother figure, for her five girls, whose only role in life seems to be obtaining husbands for her girls and don't even get me started on Mr Collins, their cousin. What a pompous ass he was,and far to full of his own self importance, which he only had because of his association with Lady Catherine.
The whole marriage process within the 1700's fascinates me. Imagine accepting a marriage proposal within weeks of knowing someone. In today's society, we would dismiss these whirlwind relationships as five minute wonders and bound to end in disaster, yet in the 1700's this was the norm. The couples accepted each other completely and lived with the faults that came with time through a marriage. The fact that everyone married in order to better their financial situation in life, would be seen as immoral now. Women who marry in this way are presumed to be gold diggers, yet their ancestors would not even grant a dance to man who didn't have at least his own country estate.
I was pleased with the way the book ended. I knew that all the right couples would end up together in the end. I did wonder whether Jane and Bingley would become married, as their relationship had been spoiled by so many different people. It was lovely to see Darcy come riding in like a knight in shining armour and reunite the couple in love.
I really did love this book and will be over the moon to read more of Jane Austen's books, though I have been told that this is the best of the bunch. Is there a better Jane Austen book out there?