Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
Click on Mark Twain to jump to Troutbirders book review blog

Friday, April 11, 2014

Pride and Prejudice


It had been a while since I’d digressed from my usual reading tastes.  I did read, in my youth,  a lot of modern American fiction but only occasionally in recent decades.  As the writing of history and biography improved and that of fiction declined my reading interests went along with that change.  It was the phrase a “novel of manners” that recently caught my eye.  Of course, as a child, my mother had often reminded me to “mind my manners” perhaps that was a clue?

I had seen the phrase in reference to the writing of the famous early nineteen century novelist Jane Austin. I also knew that her work had undergone a great swell of interest in recent years with several popular movies and television shows.  Perhaps now was the time to become acquainted.  I checked my Nook and sure enough there was a free download of Austin’s novel Pride and Prejudice.  I took the plunge and downloaded it……

The book was filled with fascinating dialogue to my contemporary American eye.  The language of the English gentry was stultifying, cloy inly, excessively, convolutedly polite. At first I found it quite off putting. Do I really want to read this?  I plunged ahead. I did a little guilty laughing before it dawned on me that I was reading some seriously funny satire. That encouraged me to go on. I was learning about class consciousness in a time and place far beyond my own experience. The only thing I could compare it too was my enjoyment in reading Mark Twins A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court. 

From that point on I was enjoying my read more and more.    Would the headstrong independent middle class minister’s daughter Lizzy find true love between the rich upper class snob, but truly good man she hated and the glib goldigging loser she was attracted to?  All this was in the face of family and friends who were mostly no help at all.   This was in all compounded by a culture which strongly frowned on marriage between the low and the high born.

This novel is considered one of the greats of English literature. Published in 1813, it's more than just about marriage and manners, it also raises the problem all great novels consider, the search for self. That search, we learn, can take place in the most confined of settings.

Austin forte surely must be exquisite characterization. The novel was full of them. There was too much pride and prejudice   but I found it all most entertaining. Even more remarkable was the fact that Austin accomplished this entertainment in a story without heroes or villains. They were just interesting people with the usual blemishes of the human race.  The plot was somewhat mundane but more  attention grabbing power thn your usual  daytime soap opera.  There was no big surprise at the end. Still, good job, Jane. Your “novel of manners” was indeed a classic and I liked it. My mom who always stressed minding those manners  would be pleased ……

 
 Good grief. No wonder she turned him down.  But then they both had a lot to learn.......:)

 

28 comments:

  1. Austen is a distant relative and I find her life fascinating, although a bit scary. Her health was atrocious and I'm convinced, at least that part runs in the family. Her writing talent, not so much. LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wouldn't mind seeing the movie. I can't remember ever reading the book, but I think I may have years ago. I don't even remember what I did yesterday.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have seen and enjoyed the movies made from Austin's books. However, I find it very hard to read them, its more tiresome than anything else I read, but to see it all in color,
    characters fleshed out, the homes and buildings, its loads of fun. That is not to say, I don't keep trying to read the books, I want to
    but so far, not good!

    Jo

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello on a gorgeous, spring day in TENNESSEE. Wow---after the long and bitter winter we had this year, Spring is even more inviting and lovely.

    I never did see the movie--but would like to. Most of the time, I don't care for movies made from marvelous novels. Thanks for sharing!

    We are now home 'again' --after our 5th trip since the end of February.... Seems as if we visited five different states --although the trips weren't planned for that reason... ha... BUT--as I always say, it's great to be home... I did publish a blog post today--so check it out when you have time. Have a wonderful weekend.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete
  5. I loved the book and have read it several times. Also enjoyed many of the adaptations.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nice critique on Ms Jane. You are a more patient reader than I. English lit tends to be full of rich versus poor. I guess its because of that great divide that the English developed. Sorta like the caste system. Like you I prefer non-fiction. You do write a great review. -- barbara

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am impressed with this review. I would write, "Good book, uh huh."

    We read all of her books (me out loud to Sue at bedtime) a few years ago. I honestly can't recall or distinguish amongst them anymore, except for "Northanger Abbey", which is not on my recommended list.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think I read Pride and Prejudice several years ago, and more recently Emma. I enjoyed both and although I have difficulty adjusting to the language at first, I quickly get past it and really enjoy Austens writing. You're making want to read Sense and Sensibilty now.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have it on my Kindle...perhaps I should read it before I watch it on Netflix! I was always minding my manners:)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think you persuaded me to read this story.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Enjoyed this review of a favorite. Good job.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Enjoyed this review of a favorite. Good job.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ha,ha the "inferiority of your birth" would have been a deal breaker. I have never read that book but thanks to your take on it, I just might.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Tis nice to see you took a stroll out of your element to visit Jane , Mr Troutbirder ;)
    I enjoyed your review.

    Personally I adore Jane and Emma , that era just seems to fascinates me I must admit.


    ReplyDelete
  15. I found P&P to be a tiresome read! I liked the content, but wading through the language was a bit much. I did watch both of the movies and enjoyed them.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I've never read any of Jane Austen's works, and I didn't like the movie of PRICE AND PREJUDICE that came out a few years ago...but you did an excellent job of reviewing the book. "Almost thou persuadest me.."

    ReplyDelete
  17. After reading your post I almost want to go read the book again. Our Jane certainly wrote the truth about the times as they were in her day.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Pride & Prejudice was assigned reading in freshman lit my first year of college. I remember reading it and giggling (the author's treatment of the silly mother was highly amusing.) and the frustration of my roommate who was studying chemistry that night. I loved the book. I am speaking from the top of my head but I believe Ms. Austen never married, which is interesting. Her books do leave us with a fascinating glimpse at a woman's place and the traps of class. I think in some places undercurrents continue.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love the book.
    Ha, ha on the quote at the end. I would have turned him down, too. What a pompous asterisk!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I much prefer the Bronte sisters books to Austens, but you did a fine job of review.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oooo one of my favorites!!! I have both copies of the movie and have watched both many many times. Mr. Darcy Mr. Darcy. I've never read the book though.
    xo Catherine

    ReplyDelete
  22. I like Austen but kind of agree about the "too much" part. You might want to check out Bloom's work on the great novels we should read and why -- http://www.amazon.com/How-Read-Why-Harold-Bloom/dp/0684859076 .

    ReplyDelete
  23. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Latest Automotive Information with Pictures, latest speedy cars, top vehicles
    TopAmazingCars.BlogSpot.Com

    ReplyDelete
  25. Female Celebrties Facebook Covers, Most Popular Fb Covers in the Industry
    UniqueFbCovers.Com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Home Based Business Join Now without any Work
    Earn 400% within a Month
    Payout within 24 Hours with Perfect Money, OkPay and EgoPay
    Join Now
    Dollar-Inv.co

    ReplyDelete
  27. Best Investment Plan with PayPal PayPal PayPal
    Payout within 24 Hours with Perfect Money, PayPal, OkPay and EgoPay
    Join Now
    AllTimeProfit.com

    ReplyDelete