On Austen



Oh, Mr Darcy.

What is it about Pride and Prejudice that pulls me in each and every time?

Now, it's one of my favourite books, and I very much enjoy it, but why do I find myself coming back to it time and time again?

Part of it's affection, I think, and a healthy dash of nostalgia.  I've read this book curled up on the couch of our little house in Gilesgate, while a Durham winter rages outside.  I've read this book on the beach in Findhorn, basking in the pale and golden Scottish sunshine.  I've read this on planes, trains, deckchairs, under blankets, in a classroom.  It's a part of my own personal history.

I have affection for the characters too.  Oh, to be witty and admired like Elizabeth, or beautiful and kind like Jane! Lydia, Mrs Bennet, Caroline Bingley, Mr Collins - they are all annoying, to be sure, but knowing them and their little ways and foibles just serves to feed into the cosiness and familiarity of the text.

I think the book has a great plot.  Essentially, it's a romcom for the Regency period, but I love the subtle details of class, elegance and manners that flow through Austen's books effortlessly.  It's a story that we have heard many, many times, and yet P&P fizzes with wit and joy.

And oh, what wit.  As lovely as Austen makes her main characters, she pulls no punches when describing the ill-mannered, the unkind, or the stupid.   And her wit is all the sweeter because she only deploys it when necessary, and does so with deadly aim.  Thus, Kitty and Lydia, who are incredibly silly, are ripe for ridicule; whereas Charlotte Lucas, who is good and noble, is commented on, but not parodied or made fun of in the same way.

By gosh, I love this book.  So glad I chose (once again) to reread it this summer!

What are your favourite books, lovelies?  Are there any which you keep coming back to, again and again?

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4 comments:

  1. I never read anything twice, because there are so many books, so little time! I love most of Jane Austen though.

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  2. It's so hard to choose. P&P and Emma are two of my favorites. I think the entire Chronicles of Narnia may be by nostalgic reads. But then, Austen's books almost seem new every time I read them.

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  3. I was just looking back at some of your older posts and must tell you how adorable your kitties are!! I LOVE cats!!!!

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  4. I've never been able to read Austen. I tried P&P once but couldn't do it.

    I haven't re-read anything in awhile. I've read the entire HP series at least thrice, and I used to read the first Anne of Green Gables once a year when I was younger.

    I have a mental list of books that I'd like to re-read, but I have too many new books vying for attention!

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Thank you for your comment - I do read them all but it may take me a little while (a couple of days) to respond during busy times. I love reading what you have to say!

Have a wonderful day!

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