Review: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

45148624

Goodreads | Waterstones

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! ☽

Shop | Booktube | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: Emma by Jane Austen

54210901

Goodreads | Waterstones

Although described by Jane Austen as a character ‘whom no one but myself will much like’, the irrepressible Emma Woodhouse is one of her most beloved heroines. Clever, rich and beautiful, she sees no need for marriage, but loves interfering in the romantic lives of others, until her matchmaking plans unravel, with consequences that she never expected. Jane Austen’s novel of youthful exuberance and gradual self-knowledge is a brilliant, sparkling comic masterpiece. 

I’m slowly making my way through Austen’s books this autumn, and I’ve been mainly doing that through audio. This one is no different, and I decided to pick it as my first October audiobook. I love reading Austen on audio and the narrator of this one was brilliant. The voices really reflected each character and the story shone through well.

I cannot make speeches, Emma…If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am. 

However, this is sadly probably my least favourite Austen so far. I believe this is one of her longest books and I’m so glad I read it on audio because it did feel quite long and drawn out. I feel like this one has the least plot and most nonsense out of all of the Austen books I’ve read so far. I was never quite sure where this book was going and felt like there was not much of an end point to strive for.

Although Emma as a main character could be unlikable at times, I did enjoy the idea of her being a female heroine and not necessarily looking for love. However, some of the other characters were highly annoying (I’m looking at you, Miss Bates!) and let me tell you, the narrator did a great job as portraying them as such.

You hear nothing but truth from me. I have blamed you, and lectured you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it.

Overall, I feel like this one is going to be quite forgettable for me and feels very…scatterbrained. I’m still excited to read more from Austen and I didn’t dislike this book, just my least favourite so far!

★★★
3 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Booktube | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

54210903

Goodreads | Waterstones

During an eventful season at Bath, young, naive Catherine Morland experiences the joys of fashionable society for the first time. She is delighted with her new acquaintances: flirtatious Isabella, who shares Catherine’s love of Gothic romance and horror, and sophisticated Henry and Eleanor Tilney, who invite her to their father’s mysterious house, Northanger Abbey. There, her imagination influenced by novels of sensation and intrigue, Catherine imagines terrible crimes committed by General Tilney. With its broad comedy and irrepressible heroine, this is the most youthful and and optimistic of Jane Austen’s works.

I may have quite possibly found my favourite Jane Austen novel so far! This one is a super short read and I think would be perfect for those looking to read Austen for the first time – I also loved the audiobook so much that I may re-read Persuasion on audio soon (the only Austen book I have so far just read in physical format and not audio!).

I feel like this is one of Austen’s quirkier novels, and it is full of literary satire and Gothic scenes. And let me tell you, I adored these Gothic scenes. I love Victorian literature for the dark and spooky feelings that Northanger Abbey brings. The abbey itself was such a perfect location to set up the Gothic elements of this book, and I definitely feel like that was my favourite part of the story!

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel,

I also feel like this one is the most accessible Austen book I’ve picked up so far, and I really enjoyed the plot, which was easy to follow yet entertaining. I really liked Catherine as a main character, who was young and naive but genuinely just so kind to all those who surround her. I really felt for her, which I think is one of the reasons why I liked this one so much – she just made me soften.

I also loved the setting of this book, from Bath to the abbey itself. Every time I read an Austen book, I want to visit Somerset/Bath. Having visited Bath, I feel like she manages to capture it so well between these pages, and I can vividly picture these characters frolicking around the English countryside.

must be intolerably stupid.

Something that I find all Austen books do well is pure wit, and this is probably the funniest and most absurd so far. I found it so entertaining, and I’m so glad I decided to read these on audio throughout autumn.

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Booktube | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

54210905

Goodreads | Waterstones

When Sir Henry Dashwood dies unexpectedly, his estate passes to his only son, leaving his widow and three daughters with no home and little to live on.
The elder two sisters couldn’t be less alike. Impetuous, romantic and idealistic Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve, and when she falls in love with the dashing but unsuitable John Willoughby she ignores her sister Elinor’s warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo.
Meanwhile Elinor, rational, cool-headed and always sensitive to social convention, is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to her.
Through their parallel experience of love – and its threatened loss – the sisters learn that to live well requires both the bravery of open sensibility and the tempering of desire with wisdom if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love.

I am so excited that I’m going to be reading more Austen books as the autumn period goes on, and I really enjoyed reading this one. I listened to the audiobook of this which I really liked and I think I will carry on with listening to Austen audiobooks throughout the autumn season.

I got so many cozy vibes from reading this and it felt so atmospheric. The English countryside really shone through and there were some beautiful descriptions. It made me just wander around big Victorian houses and gardens (which I actually did around the same time of reading this!).

Know your own happiness.

I also really liked the characters in this book and the relationships between the sisters and their mother. I also found the romance so interesting to read about and it even made me slightly emotional in places. The writing, as expected, was absolutely beautiful and there was some amazing quotes and descriptions throughout this book.

You want nothing but patience- or give it a more fascinating name, call it hope.

Reading this one has made me very excited to read more Austen books as the season goes on and I can’t wait to listen to more of the audiobooks.

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Booktube | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere

Review: Persuasion by Jane Austen

54210904

Goodreads | Waterstones

What does persuasion mean – a firm belief, or the action of persuading someone to think something else? Anne Elliot is one of Austen’s quietest heroines, but also one of the strongest and the most open to change. She lives at the time of the Napoleonic wars, a time of accident, adventure, the making of new fortunes and alliances.

Yay for my first Jane Austen book, second classic of the year and first one of my Wordsworth set that I am actually reading this copy of! This is a book Mark recommended to me, and I knew I wanted it to be the first one I read in this set. If a cold Autumn day is the best time to read a Jane Austen book, maybe a snowy winter one can be second. I felt so cosy settling down with this book in the evenings with my fairylights on, it was just perfect.

Like many classics, I did find this a little dense. I’m not much of a classics reader usually (I’m really trying to get into them this year a little more!). I always find it takes me a while to settle into a classic and get used to the writing. I also have to get used to it taking me around double the amount of time it takes me to read YA fantasy and contemporary which I’m reading for most of the time! I definitely think a reread would be beneficial.

I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures.

Something that really surprised me about this book was how humorous I found it. The writing is so poetic and beautiful, but also funny. Austen can be sassy and brutal and I loved it, it made me chuckle to myself in parts. I loved the writing in every sense, other than it being naturally a little difficult to read due to just not being used to the time period. It was lyrical and I wanted to savour it, and I definitely made sure to take my time with it and really appreciate the writing.

Anne made for a very likable main character and her discussions of love, friendship, women in society and family were so interesting and well done. I loved the subtle romance between her and Captain Wentworth, which was pining but not overwhelming to the story. The letter everyone talks about when it comes to this book is so beautiful and such a high point for this book. I love how we spend the whole book with Anne, to see the letter in return. What a beautiful scene.

None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.

Overall, this was a beautifully told tale full of romance, lust and persistence. I felt very involved in the story, I loved the setting and the writing, and I can’t wait to read more from Jane Austen!

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

Shop | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook |

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/thebooksareverywhere