Today's post marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen as indicated by Alyssa Goodnight.
When did I first read the novel? (A very intimate and personal question, mind you)
That's easy; I read it for the first time in 10th grade Honors English class. Mr. Russey, our headmaster at the school, taught the class. I had no idea who Jane Austen was or what Pride and Prejudice was about until I had that class. I honestly thought that I was going to hate it. But, after the first page, I was hooked. I loved the way she wrote and her subtle humor. The descriptions of everyday life were captivating.
|This is the book I read, but not my copy. |
Mine, unfortunately, suffered of a broken spine that was held together by tape.
It did not make it past High School, sadly.
I read that book everywhere. I would take it up in a tree with an apple. I would read it at 5am because I couldn't read some nights. Sometimes I would stay up late to finish a chapter, only to get sucked into reading another and another. (This was the part in the novel where Collins and Darcy were proposing to Elizabeth.) It was my addiction. I may have done poorly on a few quizzes after a late night's reading, but I always aced the test!
Needless to say, that Christmas my mother gave me the 1995 A&E/BBC version of P&P. I absolutely loved seeing my favorite characters come to life in the exact way I had imagined them to appear! Elizabeth was lovely, and Mrs. Bennet was perfect! Bingley was the right amount of positive energy. And, of course, Mr. Darcy was a tad bit more handsome played by Colin Firth, than anyone I could have imagined. The fencing scene was one of my favorites even though it wasn't explicitly written in the book. You can imagine that Mr. Darcy fenced, though.
I have watched many versions of P&P films since that time. The 1940s one with Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier is neat, but not very accurate to the novel (deletes characters and changes around the order of the novel quite drastically) or the time period (the clothing is from the 1820s and 30s, not the Regency period). But, it does have the spirit, and who doesn't like Greer Garson as Elizabeth Bennet?
The '95 version is still my first love. But the 2005 Keira Knightly version is a wonderful film, rich in costumes, music and cinematography. I have to admit I watch that one when I am having trouble sleeping.
While we're on the topic of music, I had "Dawn" play as my bridesmaid's entrance song during my wedding.
So, what makes more sense than to bring my leather bound gold embossed book of Jane Austen's works, the A&E/BBC 1995 P&P DVD, and the 2005 P&P Keira Knightly DVD with me to France? I thought you'd all agree. It's fitting. It's perfect. And, it's, well, part of me.
Thank you, Miss Austen, for your work!