Happy Friday! Another month means another Guest Post here on Book Fifty. If you didn’t read Laura’s post last month about The Bridge of San Luis Rey, be sure to check it out.
This Friday I am beyond thrilled to introduce you to my friend Elizabeth Hance. Elizabeth and I met in an English class at Auburn, and we immediately discovered our common interests. To me, the coolest thing about our friendship is that we are still discovering common interests the more we read and write!
Speaking of writing, Elizabeth is not only a dear friend, she’s a gifted writer, and she posts regularly on her blog, Finding Eloquence. Her blog is a compendium of all things books, writing, and travel, and she writes with ease and grace. I love following along, and I’m always able to find some great truth or awesome book recommendation from her writing. You should definitely click on over after you’re done reading her post!!
But for now, I’ll turn it over to Elizabeth and let her tell you all about one of her favorite books, Pride and Prejudice.
Hi everyone! I’m excited to be able to share here on Sarah’s blog. I was so honored when she asked me to do a guest post, so I considered several different books, and eventually, at the risk of sounding totally unoriginal, I decided on the classic Pride and Prejudice by the legendary Jane Austen. This timeless story is constantly evaluated and reevaluated among readers, but I couldn’t resist the chance to talk about it here because it’s been so influential in my life both as a reader and a person. I first encountered it in high school and it significantly honed my love for reading and quality storytelling.
No doubt to the horror of some of you Austen purists, I actually saw the 2005 movie of Pride and Prejudice before I read the book. This film was in fact my introduction to Jane Austen overall. I still remember my thirteen-year- old self being totally spellbound in the theater as the drama of Elizabeth and Darcy unfolded, and then being lost in thought for a while afterwards. Disown me if you must, but the movie did prompt me to read the book and then to relish all of Jane Austen’s wonderful work. Pride and Prejudice retains a special place in my heart though, not only because it was the first Austen book I read, but because it was the starting point of my love for quality literature, England, and other stories of Austen’s genre.
Anyone who meets me will quickly realize that I can talk about books, England, England’s history, books and movies set in England, and stories in general for hours (Needless to say, it wasn’t long before I knew Sarah and I were kindred spirits!). And in large part, I have Pride and Prejudice to thank for that. I love the manners, the chivalry, Jane Austen’s incomparable wit, and the journey of self-evaluation that Elizabeth and Darcy must take before they can be together. Pride and Prejudice has been called “the original romantic comedy,” which I think an apt description. People still flock to love stories that begin with a misunderstanding or faulty judgment between the hero and heroine and wait eagerly to see how all will be resolved. Little do many know that this timeless setup can be traced back to Jane Austen’s humble pen in southern England in the early 19 th century!
So, Austen’s influence clearly continues today, and Pride and Prejudice in particular helped me appreciate the aspects of a well-written, quality story. In recent years, I’ve realized that the stories I enjoy most usually have complex characters, thought-provoking storylines, and profound teaching moments that hold value for the audience as well as the characters. I believe Pride and Prejudice was the beginning of that for me, so it’s a story that I never tire of revisiting, and many other books and movies I now call favorites owe it to Pride and Prejudice. Just name any period drama and I’ll probably start to fangirl. Jane Eyre, Downton Abbey, Poldark… I was a goner for all of these pretty fast! And Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion are two of Austen’s other works that have also meant a lot to me over the years. What’s more, England shot to the top of my travel list with my introduction to Austen, and I’m beyond excited to finally go there later this year! One look at those stunning shots of the English countryside in the Pride and Prejudice movie did me in. Here’s hoping I’ll get to see those very spots in a few months!
I obviously have much for which to thank Pride and Prejudice, so it’s probably no small wonder that it kept coming to mind for this post! How much Austen have you guys read and what’s your favorite work of hers? What’s your favorite film adaptation of her books? I’d love to hear from all of you and would love to continue the discussions over at my blog as well! Thanks so much for stopping by and reading! 🙂