Review: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Pride and Prejudice, which opens with one of the most famous sentences in English Literature, is an ironic novel of manners. In it the garrulous and empty-headed Mrs Bennet has only one aim – that of finding a good match for each of her five daughters. In this she is mocked by her cynical and indolent husband. With its wit, its social precision and, above all, its irresistible heroine, Pride and Prejudice has proved one of the most enduringly popular novels in the English language.

This is such a difficult book to review, so many years after publication. I’ve been reading Jane Austen books on audiobook and this one was no different – I read this one on audio too and I really enjoyed it. I’d never read this book before, and I’ve never seen any of the film or TV adaptations either (but I will be rectifying this soon, I promise!).

I loved the start of this book and I feel like this is one of Austen’s clearest books in some ways, which may be part of the reason it is probably her most famous. I felt wrapped in the story immediately and I really liked the characters. The way Mrs Bennet and her husband chattered was so humorous to read about and I liked the family quickly.

I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! 

As always, I loved the writing so much. Austen has a way with words that transcends space and time. The writing is so witty, funny and entertaining. Reading about the group of characters and their social dynamics was very interesting, and I love the family aspect of Austen’s work.

My biggest problem with this book is I did switch off a little in the middle. This is likely completely because of me and my own problem with not paying as much attention to the audiobook that day, but I definitely found the start and the end of the book much more enjoyable. I have to applaud Austen for her progressive attitudes to love and marriage, however I can’t help but yearn for an Austen book that ends in complete independence rather than marriage. I do like the romance aspect, but they do end up feeling a little predictable in the end.

When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.

Overall, this has been one of my favourite Austen’s so far, but Northanger Abbey and Persuasion are just about above it in my opinion.

★★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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