Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austin: Pride and Prejudice
There is something about the particular path I took through high school and college that meant that there are a number of books that are considered to be part of the canon of English Literature that I haven’t read. So, I have been trying to do a little “catch up” and from time to time read some of the classics that I had otherwise missed. So it was that I found myself with a copy of Pride and Prejudice that was clearly designed to be a textbook. It contained a biography of Jane Austin in the beginning and commentary on the novel by Sir Walter Scott, Lord Macaulay, W.F. Pollock, Anne Thackeray Ritchie, Goldwin Smith and F.W. Cornish. I skipped the commentaries, read the biography and soon was caught up in the story.
There is no mystery about why this novel has become known as one of the pieces of literature that defines the form. It is well-written and carefully crafted. The characters are fully developed and we get a sense of their inner lives and motivations as well as the narrative of the story. The problem is that the story itself is well, rather boring. There really isn’t much of a story her at all.
The thing that I didn’t expect was the amount of humor in the book. There are some real “zingers” in the book - conversation that would have been pointed in which to participate and very funny to witness. Her characters possess great wit and the ability to deliver that wit to the source of the humor.
All in all, it is a book worth reading.