"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'" ~ C. S. Lewis

Monday, August 9, 2010

Proud and Prejudiced or the Jane Austen Convert

I have not been a Jane Austen fan. I tried to read Pride and Prejudice about seven times, starting when I was around 12 up until a few years ago when I gave it up as a bad business altogether and declared my dislike of Jane Austen.

Now before you get all huffy and wonder how on earth any English major and romantic worth their salt can dislike Jane Austen let me continue.

I read Emma about 3 years ago and it was agony. I only finished it so I could say, I have read a Jane Austen novel. And I still don't like her.

I've always felt like there was something wrong with me. I love the movies based on her books. Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Pride & Prejudice - but I just couldn't get into the novels. Besides which, even in the movies I have NEVER liked Mr. Darcy. He seems so condescending and stuck up and rude and I could never understand why women swooned over him.

(Oh admit it, some of you reading this HAVE swooned over him)

Then I was informed that I had to read Pride and Prejudice for one of my grad classes in the fall, so I started reading it now.

To my surprise I am enjoying it. Quite a bit. I'm only about half way through (I've had a lot of other reading that I've been doing) but I am actually looking forward to having a chance to sit down and finish it.

Not only that, but I LIKE Mr. Darcy. All right, I'm nowhere NEAR swoon territory, but being able to see some of his thoughts, especially the way his regard develops for Elizabeth, have actually made me LIKE him. Something I never thought would happen.

There has to be a way for them to translate this better in the movies. To read that he respected her intelligence and wit and liked her activity and healthy attributes makes him SO much more interesting and likable.

And now I would like to go read some of her other novels and see if I enjoy them.

How about you? Are you a Darcy fan? A Jane Austen fan? Ever had a book that you tried to read, but didn't like only to come back to it years later and really appreciate it?


Amie McCracken said...

I'm a big Jane Austen fan, but I didn't read the novels until after college. Have you seen the BBC Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth? That is much better for Darcy than the other versions.

(And Emma is extremely tedious! So is Mansfield Park.)

Al said...

I am an Austen fan. I must say I have never once swooned over Darcy. :-)

Mia said...

I love Jane Austen! Um, I don't know. It took me a while to get into the style but as soon as I did, I
loved it.


Stina Lindenblatt said...

I definitely swooned over the Colin Firth version of the Darcy.

I love Jane Austen, but I didn't used to. Back in high school, I didn't like any of the classics. Too hard to read. Plus, I was supposed to read them. I hate reading anything I'm supposed to read. ;)

catherine said...


ok, i was going to have to walk away from this entry lol but i am SO glad you seem to be liking Jane this time around (and Mr Darcy). that's what happened with Flannery O'Connor and I...I didn't really like her in undergrad. I read her again as a teacher (I taught two of her stories) and I liked them. it's odd our tastes change like that.

anyway, enjoy P&P! :D it's my favorite on of Jane's!

Elizabeth Mueller said...

I didn't appreciate this book in highschool. Much later, I decided to pick it up, thinking I didn't know anything then.


I still felt the same about the book. All dialogue with no description made for a dull read. At least it did for me, sorry...

I like your post, thank you! ;)

catherine said...

In terms of recommendations...Sense and Sensibility is my favorite after P&P. I've also heard Persuasion is good (i haven't read that one, shame on me! or Northanger Abbey...). But yeah, that's where i'd go next :)

Dangerous With a Pen said...

Oh dear.... You have jumped to the Dark Side!

Lol, j/k. I'm not a big fan, the period writing doesn't do it for me. But me not being the norm is nothing unusual, lol...

AchingHope said...

Bleh. I still don't like her. I read Northanger Abbey and it just seemed like everyone's obsessed with dresses and popularity and getting a hot man. Huh. Like highschool.

Glad you're not hating it though, that would be sad.