book bonanza – pride and prejudice

Sep 6, 2010


I have finally finished a Jane Austen book. Much to my surprise, I even loved it. Back in high school when girls were swooning over her books, I rejected the whole genre outright. I had no interest in reading about ridiculous girls flirting in an ever-so-polite way with so-called gentleman. Now, however, I loved pondering the social commentary Jane was making, the deep flaws of character she was exposing, and the greatness of the human heart she was praising.

I learned much about what type of woman I value and what type of man is worth any woman’s time. I have much to ponder on the power of mentoring, the role of manners, and the value of marriage to a society. I see much of myself in Miss Elizabeth Bennett and hope I would have been like her. I know very well I would not have fit into 18th Century England. I don’t have it within me to become a doormat, a gossipy neighbor, or a wife contented with a loveless marriage. I don’t think I have the grace or the demureness to receive approval of my manners. I would probably have gone nuts dealing with it all and run for the hills!

Now, I get to watch the movie…which version should I start with? Colin Firth or Keira Knightly?

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  1. Anne

    Keira Knightly! Absolutely! Collin Firth is a vulgar, dirty-mouthed butt in real life.

  2. Kate

    Colin Firth!!! The actor who plays him in the KK version is so flat and not developed at all!! It’s still a fun show if you don’t have 5 hours to devote to the “real” one, but it really doesn’t do it justice.

  3. jessica

    I don’t get the Colin appeal, he’s always seemed a tad smarmy to me but I own the entire Colin Firth version if you want to borrow it – I like them both, but Keira’s AWFUL wig drives me insane in her version, her darn short hair peeping out on her neck, are you kidding me? A bajillion dollar budget and they couldn’t have done something about that? I also think the Firth version is more accurate…

  4. Colin Firth, just so you aren’t forced to watch poor Keira, her dreadful underbite, and her shallow mouth-breathing.

    (Honestly, I liked both versions, but I *really* liked the Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle version. She’s fantastic!! Base it on how much time you wish to devote… the Keira Knightly version really was quite decently-done, dreadful costuming, wigs, and that underbite notwithstanding. Poor thing.)

    Now that you’ve mastered an Austen, may I recommend my favorite mid-19th century authoress? Look for Elizabeth Gaskell. Her writing is extremely accessible, and she’s a very keen judge of humanity, as well as quite the wit. I adore Cranford most particularly, though Wives & Daughters is an excellent read, as is North & South. Oh, heck, I like all her novels. :)

    • tracy

      North and South is on my list of books to read shortly. I have been looking forward to it for months and plan to devour it soon. Thank you for the recommendations, I will make sure to read all of Gaskell’s works!