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Elektra
08-01-2007, 06:50 PM
I searched through the threads, and couldn't find a one specifically for this greatest work. So, voila! Here it is!

PattiTheWicked
08-01-2007, 07:10 PM
I love P&P! I think we had a thread related to it when the Keira Knightley movie version came out, over in Movies & TV, but I'm not sure we've had a book thread on it.

I heart Mr. Darcy.

Stew21
08-01-2007, 07:15 PM
One of my very favorite books. (And I love the A&E movie much more than the Kiera one.)
I wonder if Jane Austen knew the depth of her characters--even the minor ones--how they were complex and flawed (as it should be).

I read it about once a year. I just get a craving for it, and have to.

PattiTheWicked
08-01-2007, 07:20 PM
Same here -- I'm actually working my way through my annual re-read of Sense & Sensibility, having just redone P&P back in March. Austen's work can't be read just once.

Every time I read P&P I catch on to subtle nuances that I missed the last 48 times around.

ink wench
08-01-2007, 08:58 PM
Ooh, so I'm not the only one who's reads it about once a year? :) Whew! I feel better now. I love Elizabeth, and have this recurring urge to write a modern update of her character. (Not anything like Bridget Jones though.) One of my friends from college described our university as a "snob sleepover party" and that's the setting I envision. Maybe one day....

Britchik
08-01-2007, 09:55 PM
Okay, so I was required to read Pride and Prejudice for school when I was 16. I couldn't get past the first five pages. I later watched the movie (original BBC production, with Colin Firth!!!!) out of interest, and loved it. I went back to the book, but only managed about 50 pages before giving up again. I simply couldn't get into the prose, I guess. Am I the only one?

Medievalist
08-01-2007, 10:06 PM
I am very very fond of Jane Austen; I'd hate to choose between P and P, Sense and Sensibility, or Northanger Abbey.

Her letters are fabulous as well.

wyntermoon
08-01-2007, 11:19 PM
My most favorite book, followed closely by Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion. My husband and I have P&P weekends where we'll watch the A&E version and discuss (geek alert) the characters and how they play off each other. While not a fan of the newest version, I did think the cinematography was lovely. Now if they could have only found a better Elizabeth...

Anyone planning to see Becoming Jane this weekend?

Elektra
08-02-2007, 01:16 AM
Perhaps there hasn't been a thread because of Pemberley.com? I used to be a fairly frequent poster over there, but they're so rigid about what can go in which thread that it became too much. Maybe we could do a group read of P&P?

PattiTheWicked
08-02-2007, 01:45 AM
Ooh, my parents are coming to visit next week and I'm going to kidnap mom and make her go see Becoming Jane with me. Otherwise I'll have to go alone, and that just makes me feel sad.

Simon Woodhouse
08-02-2007, 01:47 AM
'We are all fools in love' is one of my favourite quotes. I wish I'd written it.

Elektra
08-02-2007, 02:00 AM
Ooh, my parents are coming to visit next week and I'm going to kidnap mom and make her go see Becoming Jane with me. Otherwise I'll have to go alone, and that just makes me feel sad.

I'm a bit worried about the way they're maketing Becoming Jane. They're advertising it as a traditional HEA romance, and it seems like a lot of people are going to be disappointed when the heroine doesn't get the guy.

JBI
08-04-2007, 06:03 AM
Becoming Jane got torn apart by my local paper. Generally I am a big fan of Austen. Her prose style is perhaps the greatest I have ever seen, though the predictability of her plots throws me off of her slightly (I know there will be a happy ending, therefore I don't feel any suspense).

pdr
08-05-2007, 12:21 AM
that 'Persuasion' is my favourite of the books . If you can get the Penguin version which has both endings that she wrote, it is a wonderful insight into her writing skills.

I wish I had her ability to turn an ironic phrase and her wicked ability to point out the social hypocrisies she observed.

gvm
08-05-2007, 10:51 AM
Hey I love P & P too, and like inkwench I too read it once a year! Unfortunately it doesn't look like Becoming Jane is coming to India at all, so I guess will just have to wait till the video comes out.
I am now reading a biography of hers written by James Edward Austen-Leigh, and its pretty good, though I hear the one by Carol Shields is the best one.

Scribhneoir
08-05-2007, 11:18 AM
I'm a bit worried about the way they're maketing Becoming Jane. They're advertising it as a traditional HEA romance, and it seems like a lot of people are going to be disappointed when the heroine doesn't get the guy.

I saw Becoming Jane today and my fellow audience members weren't disappointed at all when the heroine didn't get the guy. I heard nothing but good comments as folks exited the theater. On the other hand, since it's playing only at the art houses, I have a feeling the audience all knew perfectly well that Jane Austen never married, and therefore didn't expect her and Tom to get together.

Elektra
08-05-2007, 09:48 PM
that 'Persuasion' is my favourite of the books . If you can get the Penguin version which has both endings that she wrote, it is a wonderful insight into her writing skills.

I wish I had her ability to turn an ironic phrase and her wicked ability to point out the social hypocrisies she observed.

What? WHAT?!?!?! There's another ending? How long is it? Can you post it?

wyntermoon
08-05-2007, 09:52 PM
I saw Becoming Jane today and my fellow audience members weren't disappointed at all when the heroine didn't get the guy. I heard nothing but good comments as folks exited the theater. On the other hand, since it's playing only at the art houses, I have a feeling the audience all knew perfectly well that Jane Austen never married, and therefore didn't expect her and Tom to get together.

Great to hear! I thought too that most of the people seeing the film would know her history and wouldn't expect a wedding so wouldn't be disappointed. I'm very pleased that it got lovely audience reviews!

pdr
08-05-2007, 11:07 PM
Yes, JA wrote an ending which she was not happy with and rewrote it. No, it's not postable as it's a lot more than a few pages and I'm bush in Canada, away from my books, which are in storage in NZ.

My version is the UK Penguin Classics series, the Jane Austin volumes. Lovely books with expert prefaces and real Janite experts (Do you know that Rudyard Kipling story?) talking about her work. I bought it in 1966 and do not know if they still publish it with both endings.

For a writer it is most useful to read both endings as an insight into what to put in and what to leave it and why as done by a writer of quality!

Higgins
08-05-2007, 11:16 PM
Okay, so I was required to read Pride and Prejudice for school when I was 16. I couldn't get past the first five pages. I later watched the movie (original BBC production, with Colin Firth!!!!) out of interest, and loved it. I went back to the book, but only managed about 50 pages before giving up again. I simply couldn't get into the prose, I guess. Am I the only one?

Hmmm...The narrative voice seems to be one of the better things about Austen's work. It might be hard to see how economical, dry and ironical her narrative voice is compared to say Fanny Burney (whom Jane seems to have taken as her model in many ways)...anyway, if you read late 18th century stuff, you'll see that Austen does a much better job of keeping all the narrative balls in the air and being very funny about it. Her touch is light and sure, but with a powerful grasp of narrative technique and her (implied, but rarely stated) reflections on human motivation are exquisitely reductive. It think few novelists other than George Meredith (of all people) and Elizabeth Gaskel and Margaret Drabble in the late 1960s manage to do as much with as much economy as Austen...these days the best writing is expected to avoid demonstrating an intrusive mastery of the plot and its elements...and of course, Austen does the opposite of that.
Another interesting side-light on Austen is the nautical adventure novels of O'Brian who immersed himself in the writings of Austen's time, but even he rarely attempts narrative moves that have as much going on at once as Austen generally does. Maturin (the doctor and spy in O'Brian) has some rather Austenian moments when he reflects on passion and loneliness as they happen in his thoughts and writings.

Scribhneoir
08-06-2007, 01:22 AM
that 'Persuasion' is my favourite of the books . If you can get the Penguin version which has both endings that she wrote, it is a wonderful insight into her writing skills.


Are you referring to "The Cancelled Chapter of Persuasion (for which Chapters 22 and 23 were substituted)"? My copy has that. It also includes J.E. Austen-Leigh's memoir of Jane.

It's been several years since I last read Persuasion ... maybe it's time to revisit it.

Elektra
08-06-2007, 01:50 AM
Another interesting side-light on Austen is the nautical adventure novels of O'Brian who immersed himself in the writings of Austen's time, but even he rarely attempts narrative moves that have as much going on at once as Austen generally does. Maturin (the doctor and spy in O'Brian) has some rather Austenian moments when he reflects on passion and loneliness as they happen in his thoughts and writings.

Oh, goodness. O'Brian has a lovely style, but you tend to get a few hundred pages into the story and realize that nothing's really happened, plotwise. Or at least I do anyway. But Jack is a wonderful character.

I think you might have hit the best part of Austen--her light touch. That she can make hundreds of thousands of words fly by, and, what's more, make every one of those words seem indespensible.

Higgins
08-06-2007, 02:59 AM
Oh, goodness. O'Brian has a lovely style, but you tend to get a few hundred pages into the story and realize that nothing's really happened, plotwise. Or at least I do anyway. But Jack is a wonderful character.

I think you might have hit the best part of Austen--her light touch. That she can make hundreds of thousands of words fly by, and, what's more, make every one of those words seem indespensible.

With O'Brian, of course, a little Austenian lightness goes a long, long way.
The rhythm of the way things happen in O'Brian varies a lot: many things happen off-stage and are narrated by characters in such a way as to bring out both the nature of the character and of the setting and of the different kinds of narrative that O'Brian provides. For example, at one point, Jack writes a letter to his wife describing a bloody knife fight in some small boats, but he carefully tones it down despite the fact that we the readers "witness" it all being replayed in Jack's mind. It's kind of like the Episode of Band of Brothers where Captain Winters writes his report while reliving his single-handed bayonet charge against an SS battalion...though (perhaps paradoxically) the cinematic narrative tends to distance us from Winters while Jack's attempts to avoid verbal bloodshed gives us the illusion of an incredibly intimate glimpse of his personality.
In Fay Weldon's screenplay for the 1979 BBC P&P (by far the best cinematic version of the book) a similar double play with reading and writing gives a great view of how Elizabeth operates...indeed how she changes her mind and says "I never knew myself until now"....ie when she reads Darcy's letter.

Elektra
08-06-2007, 05:46 AM
In Fay Weldon's screenplay for the 1979 BBC P&P (by far the best cinematic version of the book)

Definitely. But don't you wish you could replace the BBC Mrs. Bennet with the one from last year? I thought the most recent Mrs. Bennet gave us more understanding of Mrs. Bennet's motives in trying to marry off her essentially homeless daughters.

Higgins
08-06-2007, 05:33 PM
Definitely. But don't you wish you could replace the BBC Mrs. Bennet with the one from last year? I thought the most recent Mrs. Bennet gave us more understanding of Mrs. Bennet's motives in trying to marry off her essentially homeless daughters.


I thought the recent film version (K. Knightly et ali) had a lot going for it cinematically. It basically reduced the story to an ordeal for Elizabeth, but in the space of one movie, what else can you do?

One of the fun things about the Fay Weldon screen play is that Elizabeth is shown in the process of learning a lot about herself. Since the 1979 BBC version is the longest screen version, it has a lot more time to do such things. This process is at least hinted at in the K. Knightly version.

It seems that if Elizabeth has to suffer more as a central element (in the most recent screen version), then her mother has to appear more rational and less nightmarish...though I prefer nearly everything else about the Fay Weldon version -- for example, giving parts of the narrative language to the characters....even if Mrs. Bennet remains a relatively flat creature.

PattiTheWicked
08-06-2007, 06:29 PM
I like the more recent Mrs Bennet a lot -- the one in the A&E version is almost cartoonish in her histrionics and wailing. On the other hand, I like the A&E Mr. Bennet far more than the Donald Sutherland version. I thought Sutherland's Mr. Bennet was very flat and boring, while the A&E one (can't remember the actor's name for the life of me) had sort of a playful feel to him, and was just more likeable.

One thing I find interesting about P&P as a novel is that really, most of the male characters aren't very appealing. Darcy is the one who is presented as the most arrogant and obnoxious, yet he's the one with the most positive qualities. Bingley is indecisive, passive, and unable to articulate his true feelings, which leads to the misunderstanding with Jane. Mr. Bennet is completely ineffective as a father, which leads eventually to Lydia's downfall. Wickham is a libertine who preys on young, unsupervised girls. Mr. Collins is portrayed alternately as a buffoon or a conniving synchophant.

No wonder Elizabeth falls for Darcy. He's strong, he's full of self-confidence (albeit to the point of arrogance), and he's straightforward. What you see with Darcy is what you get, which is a distinct change from the other men in her life.

Elektra
08-06-2007, 08:31 PM
The most pressing question I've had lately is that of Mr. and Mrs. Hurst. For the life of me, I can't figure out why she married him. He's said to have more fashion than fortune (though he seems at least on a par with Mr. Bennet, socially-embarassing wise), and doesn't seem to be of an "old" family. There's certainly no love lost between them. So what would induce Mrs. Hurst to marry him?

ink wench
08-06-2007, 09:32 PM
The most pressing question I've had lately is that of Mr. and Mrs. Hurst. For the life of me, I can't figure out why she married him. He's said to have more fashion than fortune (though he seems at least on a par with Mr. Bennet, socially-embarassing wise), and doesn't seem to be of an "old" family. There's certainly no love lost between them. So what would induce Mrs. Hurst to marry him?
I've got no answers because I've often wondered that myself. He's such an under developed character, almost like he was thrown in there just because Austen thought Mrs. Hurst needed a husband. Usually even her most minor characters come through with strong personalities, but not him (unless I've really missed something in my many, many reads). All I can think of is that Mrs. Hurst made a stupid choice and regrets it, which is kind of a theme throughout P&P, and Austen was trying to highlight that theme - choose wisely. I'm curious to hear opinions....

readitnweep
04-15-2012, 09:13 PM
P&P is one of my favorite books and easily the one I've read the most.

But why is Austen's writing so loved? For me it's her characters. The ridiculous parents. The flawed characters.

Emma is a prime example, which I've not seen mentioned here. I first tried to read Emma 25 years ago while in college, and I hated Emma, the character and couldn't get past the first third of the book. In my late thirties I made another attempt after re-reading P&P (again), and I fell in love with it, because Emma is so flawed yet I found myself championing her later as the story went on.

Another thing is pacing. P&P especially moves very fast. Lots of going to and fro. Lots of events and action (though people don't often think of her stories as having movement at all).

And her entwining plots and sub-plots with their twists. Did anyone else see Lydia ending up with Wickham the first time they read P&P (if you didn't see a film version first)? I warrant most, like me, didn't.

I've long wanted a copy of Austen's published letters. Has anyone else read a copy of that?

As to the reason Louisa Bingley married Mr. Hurst, I believe this is addressed in the book. I'm pretty sure it's mentioned that he was from a well titled, well to do family and, of course, most marriages were business deals at that time, at that social level, which is what makes Elizabeth and Darcy's relationship (and Bingley and Jane's) so unique.

I have to disagree with PattitheWicked's comment that "what you see is what you get" with Darcy. In fact, he's quite the opposite, which is the big part of the conflict between he and Elizabeth. He's shy and doesn't know how to act in social situations, so he hides behind snobbishness and an aura of boredom - think of him at the first assembly in Meryton. Then, later, he has to work to convince Elizabeth that isn't all there is to him.