Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, read by Emilia Fox (Naxos Audiobooks) – A Review & Giveaway

The Pride Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge (2013)Today marks the official opening of The Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge 2013, our year-long event honoring Jane Austen’s second published novel. *throws confetti* Please follow the link above to read all the details of this reading and viewing challenge. Sign up’s are open until July 1, 2013.

Considering the origins of this celebration how could I possibly not start with the inspiration of it all, Pride and Prejudice? It is really no burden considering that it is one of my favorite novels. No, I correct myself.  It is my favorite novel, bar none.

I first read Pride and Prejudice over thirty years ago and have re-read it every year since. For years I worshiped in silence, but now thanks to the Internet I can sing its praises to the skies by openly admitting that it far surpasses any other novel of my acquaintance in wit, vivacity, and romance. As Kathleen Kelly states in the movie You’ve Got Mail, “I get lost in the language.” And so I do…every time.

I will tell you another secret. I own over fifty different editions of Pride and Prejudice! Hardcover, softcover, audio, illustrated, collectible, vintage, movies, mini-series, graphic novels, quote books, greeting cards, board games—you name it. I have a whole section in my library devoted to it—my shrine of homage. There. It’s now out in the open. I am truly a Pride and Prejudice addict.

One is humbled to review a book considered a classic of world literature. What could I possibly say about Pride and Prejudice that has not been scrutinized by scholars, exalted by enthusiasts, or bemoaned by students who have been forced to read it and just don’t get what all the fuss is about? Plenty—and that is one of its enduring charms. It is so many things to different people. After repeated readings I still laugh out loud at Austen’s dry wit, wily social commentary and satisfying love story. It often tops international polls as the “the most loved” or “favorite book” of all time; numerous stage and screen adaptations continue to remind us of its incredible draw to the modern audience; and its hero and heroine, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, may be the most famous romantic couple short of Romeo and Juliet. High praise, indeed, for a novel written almost two hundred years ago by a country clergyman’s daughter, home schooled by her father, and un-exalted in her lifetime.

Set in the early nineteenth-century country village of Longbourn in Hertfordshire, the story revolves around the Bennet family and their five unmarried daughters. They are the first family of consequence in the village. Unfortunately, the Bennet estate is entailed to a male heir, a cousin, Mr. William Collins. This is distressful to Mrs. Bennet who knows that she must find husbands for her daughters or they shall all be destitute if her husband should die. Mr. Bennet is not as concerned and spends his time in his library away from his wife’s idle chatter and social maneuvering. Elizabeth, the spirited and confident second daughter is determined to only to marry for love. She teases her beautiful and kind elder sister Jane that she must be the one to catch a wealthy husband to support them all. The three younger sisters: Mary, Catherine and Lydia, hinder their elder sisters chance for a good match by inappropriate and unguarded behavior.

When Mr. Bingley, a single man of large fortune, moves into the neighborhood with his fashionable sisters he attends the local assembly ball and is immediately taken with the angelic Jane Bennet. His friend Mr. Darcy is even richer with a great estate in Derbyshire, but he is proud and arrogant giving offense to all, including Elizabeth when he refuses to dance with her. She overhears him tell Bingley that she was only tolerable and not handsome enough to tempt him. This amuses and annoys her enough to repeat it to her friends and family. The whole community declares him the most disagreeable man, eaten up with pride.

And thus the famous love story begins. How Mr. Darcy’s pride will be humbled and Elizabeth’s prejudices dissolved is one of the greatest stories of all time. Austen’s astute characterizations and clever plotting never cease to amaze. Society has changed in two hundred years, but human nature—foibles and all—remain constant, much to our amusement and delight.

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, read by Emilia Fox (Naxos Audiobooks) 2005Naxos Audiobooks presents us with a professionally produced and finely crafted jewel in this audio recording of Pride and Prejudice. Narrated by British actress Emilia Fox, viewers of the 1995 Pride and Prejudice mini-series starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle will remember her fine performance as shy Georgiana Darcy and be pleasantly surprised by her vocal range and emotional depth in characterization. I particularly appreciated her interpretation of Mrs. Bennet’s frazzled anxiety and Lady Catherine de Bourgh imperious resolve. Listeners will enjoy all thirteen hours of this unabridged recording honoring one of the greatest novels ever written and want to seek out the other six Austen novels that they have also recorded in audio format.

5 out of 5 Regency Stars

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, read by Emilia Fox
Naxos Audiobooks USA, (2005)
Unabridged, 11 CD’s (13 h 02 m)
ISBN: 978-9626343562

A GRAND GIVEAWAY

Enter a chance to win one CD or digital copy of Pride and Prejudice (Naxos Audiobooks) by leaving a comment by 11:59 pm, Wednesday, January 16, 2013 stating which character in the novel is your favorite, and which is NOT. The winner will be announced on Thursday, January 17, 2013.  Shipment of CD to US addresses only please and digital download internationally. Good luck!

© 2013 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

113 thoughts on “Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, read by Emilia Fox (Naxos Audiobooks) – A Review & Giveaway

  1. Absolutely my favorite book! I first picked it up when I was 15, thanks to a high school English program that reared me to read books that challenged me. I loved it then and I’ve loved it on every re-read since. I honestly believe Elizabeth’s lively wit and strong will helped form my own character as I became an adult. I wanted to be her so badly I made it happen. (Now if only such determination could will Mr. Darcy into existence.)

    I own a different audio version, narrated by Kate Reading. I’ll be reviewing it later this year. Listening to the book is a regular pastime of mine, and it was during one such listen that I got the first idea for what became His Good Opinion.

    Lovely review, Laurel Ann!

    PS: No need to enter me in the giveaway, since I already own the other audio edition.

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  2. Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge #1

    Becoming Elizabeth Darcy – Mary Lydon Simonsen

    I chose this book since I found it to be interesting, and who would not want to imagine being able to time travel to Jane Austen’s time? :)

    I could really relate to the lead female character, Beth, especially when it came to her love of Pride and Prejudice. The way she described her feelings about it in the first chapter is how I feel about it myself.

    I also chose this book since it is close to home for me, literally. Beth comes from New Jersey and I am a Jersey girl myself. Hearing some of the town’s names such as Cedar Grove and Little Falls, I knew of the area. ( I live more down south from the places mentioned.)

    When it comes to the Darcy’s the ending was my favorite , i feel it showed the warmth and love that they have for each other . It was amusing when the readers find out about the consequences of Beth being at Pemberley: name change, pizza, indoor plumbing etc.
    I feel though that because of Beth the Darcys were able to find each other again and grow back in love with each other.

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    • Month #1

      I watched the 1995 movie because it’s what I do quite often. I just love this version. I planned to read Darcy’s passion by Regina Jeffers but got to page 120 approximately and could not bear to keep reading such drivel so close to the actual bicentenary. So I reread the Jane Austen version and reexperienced sheer perfection for the 151st time instead. Sorry for the late post.

      Karen

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  3. I am so excited to begin the 200th Anniversary Challenge and would love to be able to include this Naxos audiobook. Of course I am and always will adore Elizabeth Bennet, but it is more challenging to choose at the other end of the spectrum. I suppose that I must settle on that liar-gambler-rascal-ruiner-of-young-women Mr. Wickham.

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  4. I came to Pride and Prejudice through a movie. My father was an old movie buff…basically because he remembered when they were new, but Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier were at that time perfect for Lizzy and Mr. Darcy. After seeing that movie I read the book for the first time at the age of 12. I didn’t really “get it” ; I didn’t get most things at 12 anyway. Since then I have read and re-read the story, finding something new each time, and after becoming a mother I found some sympathy for Mrs. Bennett. She still puts my teeth on edge and I find her in women today that put my teeth on edge. I’ve never been much for audio books, being as I have always felt by holding the story in my hands it becomes mine. So thank for this new experience and I love Emilia Fox so that will add to my adventure.

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  5. P&P’s villains are so awful- I loathe (and adore) all of them so much! But if I have to pick just one…Mr. Collins, just because a lifetime spent with him would be the worst punishment. But I do love reading about him.

    Lizzie, of course, is my favorite, but then there’s something about Charlotte Lucas- she knows what she’s getting into, but she goes for it anyway- amazing.

    And FYI, I’m finally getting around to painting the rest of the house- just so I can have time to listen to the P&P audio!! (Kate Reading version- I’ll review it when I’m done painting).

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  6. My favorite character is Mrs. Gardiner. I’m always glad that Elizabeth has someone like her to rely on for guidance and advice.

    Least favorite is Caroline Bingley–I’ve known way too many snobbish, catty women like her in my lifetime.

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  7. My ‘sort-of’ alter-ego is Mr. Bennet and, of course, that makes him my favorite character! I love his cynicism and caustic wit. It is no mystery where vivacious and outspoken Elizabeth gets her intelligence.

    I ‘love to hate’ pompous and over-bearing Lady Catherine and feel such sympathy for her poor daughter Anne having to share the same house with that battle-ax. The confrontation between her and Elizabeth Bennet is the stuff of legends….indeed one of the greatest dialogues of any kind that I have ever read.

    P & P, above all other titles, has spawned what I consider the finest film rendition with Colin Firth as Darcy and Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth. When I envision Darcy and Elizabeth, I think of those two immediately.

    Every author who attempts to copy Jane Austen’s unique voice comes up short. She alone holds the top ground as one of the greatest writers in the history of English literature.

    I’m ‘IN’ and will savor another re-read of this timeless classic this season.

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  8. Okay, you beat me. I also started reading P&P over 30 years ago (actually make that 40 last year), but I haven’t read it in a good 10 because I wanted to try to make it fresh for me again. After many readings, I found myself reciting the passages rather than reading.

    I’m looking forward to my own rereading later this month when I dive into one of the annotated versions. I’ve only listened to it once–a library copy that left me a bit cold, but then it wasn’t read by Emilia Fox!

    >pleasantly surprised by her vocal range and emotional depth in characterization. I particularly appreciated her interpretation of Mrs. Bennet’s frazzled anxiety and Lady Catherine de Bourgh imperious resolve.

    I love audio book readers who do have that kind of range–I get lost in the book via their reading, and then are jolted into an awareness of just how talented they are. Fox sounds magnificent and I look forward to badgering my library into getting this version!

    I’ve been looking forward to celebrating P&P’s 200th birthday for so long. The first Austen lit crit I ever bought was in 1975 when I was in high school and there was a set of essays by scholars published commemorating her 200th birthday. Now, 37 years later we get to celebrate another milestone in literary history.

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  9. I just finished reading this for the nth time! Fave character is, of course, Elizabeth, even though you just want to shake some sense into her sometimes about Darcy! I think Lydia is my least-fave character because she can be so obnoxious….

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  10. Favorite character: Elizabeth. But Charlotte Lucas has grown on me over the years. She knew what she wanted in life, found a way (yuck – marriage to Mr. Collins) and then manipulated the situation to fit her needs (arrangement of the rooms and encouraging Mr. C to garden!)

    Least favorite: Wickham. Creepy self serving slime.

    I confess to a large P&P collection also. I own the audiobook done by Ms. Fox and am currently re-listening to it. Wonderful narration.

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  11. Emilia Fox is a wonderful actress and a member of that eminent Fox acting family – James, Edward, etc. Naxos also always does a wonderful job in preparing audio books, so I am very much hoping I win this version.

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  12. I’m currently rereading P&P and up to the Neitherfield ball,where my least favorite character,Caroline Bingley,sneeringly tries to tell Lizzie how bad Wickam is but only manages to make him look better in her eyes. Caroline and her “kindly meant” comments are so hiss worthy!

    On the other hand,I still have Mr. Bennet’s statement to Elizabeth about accepting Mr. Collin’s marriage proposal to look forward to. Despite his flaws as a father,Mr. Bennet is my all time favorite character(apart from Lizzy and Darcy,of course).

    I also have a large P&P collection,including an audio version by Irene Sutcliffe. While I do envy the Emilia Fox,I also have a nice CD with portions of Austen’s novels read by Helena Bonham Carter and let me tell you,she does an excellent Lady Catherine there:)

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  13. I read Pride and Prejudice over the weekend. It was great to revisit with old friends, that’s how I see it. But a funny thing happens to my family when they see me read my favorite Jane Austen novel, I blogged about it today, you can find it here.

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  14. What a great giveaway! My favorite character is Mr. Darcy. He definitely learns and grows throughout the story! My least favorite character is Lydia. She never seems to realize, much less care, what she has put her family through and how she damaged all of them through her thoughtless actions.

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  15. One of my favorite characters would be Mr Bingley because I enjoy his cheerful and pleasant disposition. I think my least favorite might be Mr Hurst. I don’t find much redeemable or interesting in him. Thank you for the giveaway. This looks like a great prize.

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  16. I love Mr. Bennet, simply because he loves his daughters and wife no matter how odious they are. That said, Lydia Bennet sets my teeth on edge! Someone needs to smack that girl.

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  17. Pride and Prejudice is my absolute favorite book! Like you, I read it every year. Some years more than once; it’s a book I pick up if I’m feeling low or not sure what book to pick up next from my TBR pile.

    My favorite character is definitely Elizabeth Bennet. When I first read P&P I was so in awe of her, I wanted to be her. I love her lively mind, her wit and her quickness. I enjoy reading her debates with Mr. Darcy in Bingley’s drawing room.

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  18. With every JA addicts “confession”, I smile and tell myself “I am normal”. I am amazed at how much Jane makes me love her. I have other authors I read and admire, however, no one will ever top my beloved Jane!. P&P has many lovely characters, but Elizabeth is loveliest, dearest:) One of my least fave would be Mrs Bennet.(tied with Caroline) She is the cause of so much angst and I can not like anyone who does not like Elizabeth:) Thanks for offering a great give away.

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  19. I have all of Jane Austen’s books on my shelf and , shame, haven’t yet read them. I am familiar with her works primarily through the movies. However the more I hear and the more reviews and comments I read, the more I know I must read them all.

    Elizabeth Bennet is my favorite. I admire her spirit, intelligence, and fortitude. She has her faults, don’t we all, but is devoted to her family and doesn’t seem to suffer fools or pretensions.

    My least favorite, again from the movies, is toady Mr. William Collins. There are several women who tied for a close second, but I knew several young men like Mr. Collins in high school & college and toady is the best that can be said about some of them.

    I will likely sign up for this challenge and make this the year I read all her books. The audio books are perfect. They make it easy to share with my daughter during her commute to work and my other daughter who is dyslexic.

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  20. I am so glad that I am not the only one who collects different P&P books in different formats. My collection is not as large as yours but it is pretty close. :-)

    I think my favorite character in P&P would have to be Georgiana. I love how she adored her brother and had so much faith in him. I think this is because I was really close to my younger brother.

    My least favorite is Mr. Bennet. He was such a bad father that he just irritates me. He seemed to want to have as little to do with his daughters as possible.

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  21. How lovely to read your post, Laurel Ann, and your readers’ comments! I’m not really in the habit of re-reading books, but I’ve been meaning to read P&P again for some time. Thank you all, you’ve made up my mind!

    My favourite character is Charlotte Lucas. Sensible and down to earth, she made the most of a difficult situation and seized her chance. Neither rich nor pretty, not even very young, she chose financial independence from her blood family instead of waiting for an unlikely love match. In spite of Elizabeth’s obvious disapproval of her decision, she invited and welcomed her to her new home and later rejoiced in her marriage to Mr Darcy without a hint of envy. I imagine she must have achieved personal fulfilment as a mother and mistress of Hunsford Parsonage.

    I detest contemptuous, shallow Miss Bingley and her petty scheming, although it seems that competition could get pretty fierce on the marriage market in those days. Nor is the way in which she sets her cap at Mr Darcy very dignified. Mr Collins, on the other hand, is a self-serving sychophant and a conceited hypocrite, but Jane Austen’s masterly and humorous depiction of his character as well as Mr Bennet’s amusingly sarcastic remarks prevent me from hating him. Most regretably, I do know selfish unforgiving people like him who pose as moralists.

    Happy 200th anniversary, fellow Janeites!!!

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  22. Elizabeth is my favorite and Lydia, Mr. Collins, Lady Catherine De Bourgh are a three way tie for least favorite!

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  23. My favorite, well, actually I had to make it two because I love them for the same reasons. Elizabeth and Darcy. They both act like jerks, go through some intense experiences, they each realize that they have glaring character flaws, they both decide to make the corrections they needed to make without any hope of ever seeing each other again, and then when they do meet again, their corrections are natural because they did them for the right reason and their interactions are to apologize for their previous behavior. Now they are worthy of each other.

    My least favorite? Lady Catherine for how she treats all those around her and is so manipulative. She’s a bully and had been getting away with years.

    I’d love to receive the audio version by Emilia Fox. Swoon.

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  24. Lizzie has always been my favorite character. Predictable, perhaps, because she’s the heroine, but she is so real that she walks off the page. My least favorite character has to be Mr. Collins.

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  25. My favorite character is definitely Jane. Although Elizabeth gets all the attention in the book, Jane earns (and catches) the love of Bingley. It’s so sweet how he likes her for who she is.
    My least favorite has to be either Mr. Collins for being such a creeper or Lidia for acting foolish and embarrassing her family name.
    Pride and Prejudice is amazing!!!

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  26. Pride and Prejudice is definitely my favourite book of all time. My favourite character is definitely Darcy – not just as a romantic hero, but as a genuine person. My least favourite has to be Mr. Collins.

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  27. I enjoyed your opening post and confession. You definitely have quite a collection. I have one too, but not that large. I haven’t used an audio book yet so that sounds fun. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

    My favorite P&P character is Col. Fitzwilliam. He is a good friend to Darcy and its obvious they have a good relationship. He was respected enough by his uncle to be named as a co-guardian for Georgiana.
    My least favorite P&P character is Mr. Bennet. I feel that he was responsible or could have at least prevented much of the angst and trouble in the story if he had taken an interest in his own family and be a true leader in his home.

    P&P Challenge #1 Pulse and Prejudice by Colette Saucier
    Goodreads review link: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/496635277

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  28. Oh my Gosh, I wish so much I would win this audiobook. Of course, I’m a Janeite (who isn’t?) and love P&P (who doesn’t?). But what is more, I’m a non-native English speaker, and I would love to be able to improve my accent by hearing to this audiobook version. I’ve been flirting with it on Amazon for ages and added to my wishlist long ago, but it’s too expensive… So, I either keep putting money aside or… Thank you indeed for offering the chance to win it!!!

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  29. I *accidentally* got the Emilia Fox unabridged audio for less than $5! I bought a 99-cent kindle version of Austen’s novels at Amazon (ASIN: B005GRF3QI). Then in my Audible-Amazon-linked account, I placed the Fox audio version in my cart and discovered an amazing discount. The item was discounted to less than $4 because I had purchased a kindle version of the novel. Hope this helps someone. :)

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  30. Favorites … well that changes every time I read the book,
    Right now I like Mrs Bennet (she’s grown on me oddly enough)

    As least favorite … Mr. Collins and Lady Catherine. Though
    I enjoy laughing *at them*.

    (maybe I need Elizabeth to teach me some sense and sensibility …

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  31. Well Laurel Ann you have certainly chosen a great subject for us to argue about. We all love Darcy and Elizabeth but which character do we love the most? I guess I’ll have to say Elizabeth because of her wit and intellect. I would love to be her even if there was no Darcy, but we are lucky THERE IS Mr Darcy and I keep dreaming. Now the hard part, all the characters portaided are wonderful in there own way. We love to laugh and ridicule them, so they too are dear. My vote would go to Mr Hurst and as funny and vagriant that he is, if he were remove from the story I don’t think we could tell. Except for the ragout comment we don’t hear from him. Though where would Caroline put Elizabeth then? Hmmmm

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  32. I’m sure the Emilia Fox version will be perfect. She has just the right voice for this period. I find it impossible to listen to poor readers. I trust this recording will be one of the best.
    I love Mr. Bennett and detest Mr. Collins.

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  33. I love your post! I will be joining this challenge, but am in the midst of starting up a new semester with brand new classes so my post make take awhile.

    I love and obsessed with Pride and Prejudice as well. You nailed it – the dry wit and wonderful characters make this novel not only an enjoyable story, but also a relevant one. Lady Catherine and Mrs. Bennet still exist among us.

    I will admit that I first watched the 1995 mini-series when it came out (we didn’t have cable so I had to have my Dad’s girlfriend tape it for me at her house on VHS so I could watch it) and loved it. I bought myself the book while I was visiting my future college (Michigan Tech) and enjoyed it immensely. What made the book even better was studying it at college in The British Novel and being able to share the story with other people (mostly males – I was at an engineering school!). I have enjoyed the novel with family and friends, but love how the internet has opened up a whole new world of people to share opinions and insights with.

    The characters I like and dislike the most in Pride and Prejudice is a difficult question. Obviously I love and dislike both Darcy and Elizabeth the most during the novel, so I’ll focus on other characters. Other then the main two, I love Mr. Bennet. His hilarous comments back to Mrs. Bennet provide a lot of the humor for me, but this characteristic also makes me dislike him. Instead of sitting in his library all day, it would have been nice to see him take some initiative to try to help the situation of his wife and daughters. Mrs. Bennet annoys me a lot in the book, but when you peel back the layers, she does have her daughters best interests at heart. But isn’t this like people that you know perhaps in your own family? They may seem annoying to you on the surface, but when you really look at their intentions, you realize that they do have your best interests at heart.

    I don’t think I really answered the question in the way it was intended. Maybe I should add that one of the reasons I love Jane Austen is that her character are wonderfully life like and are hard to characterize as good or bad, but are wonderful shades of grey.

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  34. My favourite character is Mr Collins. I love him because he is so delicious to hate. Clawing-Mr Collins I call him and I loved the actor who played him in the 1995 series. But Austen did the mastery; his words are superb! Now who do I hate? Probably the waste of space Bingly husband whose name escapes me. What was his name – he married one of the Bingly girls? I’m afraid I can’t hate Wickham or Mrs B as there is so much enjoyment in them! And the only reason my choice is such a small character is we don’t get enough of him! Oh if only Jane had lived longer and could have written more novels!

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  35. Would love to hear Emilia fox reading anything and especially after reading your good review! I think I need to re-read P&P since I’ve held to an opinion that there’s too much hype around Elizabeth. But I’m guessing that reading it again, I’d realize how terrific she is! Least favorite character-Mr. Collins. So obsequious! (don’t say that every day!).

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  36. I have come to love the Emilia Fox reading of P&P. I listen to it at least once a year. Her characterizations for the various individuals are wonderful. I highly recommend it.

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  37. My favorite character is Darcy of course. For least liked, it would be a toss up between Wickham and Collins.

    I have an audio version of P&P which I love for road trips. Based on your review, I will have to check this one out. I may like it even better!

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  38. Jane Austen Bicentenary Challenge Review #1

    “The Matters at Mansfield” by Carrie Bebris (Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mysteries #4)

    Carrie Bebris once said in an interview that she took inspiration for Mr. and Mrs. Darcy in their wedded bliss from Nick and Nora (of “The Thin Man” fame), and it shows! While the first two installments of the series contained supernatural elements which made them less than believable, the third book moved the Darcys back into more familiar territory, and this fourth book continues to chronicle their domestic bliss (or lack thereof), and their encounters with other Austen characters. I have always enjoyed P&P sequels which pair off Anne de Bourgh and Colonel Fitzwilliam (they must have been meant for each other), and so “The Matters at Mansfield” was an all-around joyous romp for me.

    As for P&P itself, my favorite character has always been Darcy himself, though Lady Catherine rates a close second. My least favorite character would have to be Caroline Bingley – such a bitter, scheming woman!

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  39. Favorite character: Lizzie, of course. Least favorite: Lydia. She’s SO obnoxious. And I know that’s what Austen was going for, but jeepers. She totally gets what she deserves with Wickham.

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  40. I’ve borrowed the Emilia Fox “Pride and Prejudice” from my local library. It’s become an addiction, and I’d love to have a copy of my own. I may not have more than fifty P&P editions as you do, Laurel Ann, but I do have a husband who is building me a bookcase specifically for my Austen and Austen-esque collection. Very excited about this.

    My favorite character is Fitzwilliam Darcy. Yes, he has pride; but he speaks his mind truly and, once in love with Elizabeth, beautifully and gloriously so. So few men do.

    My least favorite is Mr. Collins – such an odious person. So full of dreadful, awful, ridiculous dreariness. Sadly, there are lots of men (and women) like him, too.

    Thanks so much for offering this opportunity!

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  41. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are my favorite characters and my least favorite is Mr. Collins. When you see him in the movies you just want to clobber him. Lady Catherine is a character that we love to hate.

    I’d love to win the book on C.D. Thank you for offering it in this version because I don’t own a computer so a digital copy wouldn’t do me any good! I haven’t listened to any Austen (or sequels) yet. The library offers some books on Playaway. That’s a small device that you just plug headphones into. They may have Austen on Playaway but I don’t know.

    If you have 50 copies of P&P, you’re really obsessed! I have a nice hardcover version of Emma. It’s the Barnes & Noble version. I bet you have that version of P&P. I saw some of the B & N versions yesterday (including a couple of Austens) and they were half off ($3.99 on sale). My other Austen novels are paperback and Northanger Abbey is a trade paperback.

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  42. A spirited review, Laurel Ann. You make me want to reread Pride and Prejudice. Unlike you, it has been a few years since I first read it. :)

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  43. My favorite character has always been Jane Bennet! She’s always so sweet and she constantly strives to find the best in people and share her happiness. Caroline Bingley is my least favorite character. At least Darcy tried to protect his friend partially with a belief that Jane didn’t feel as strongly as Bingley, but I’m convinced that Caroline is just selfish. She doesn’t care what her brother wants or anyone else if she feels that it is beneath her dignity.
    I posted my first review for the bicentenary challenge on my blog:
    http://lingeringpianist.blogspot.com/2013/01/p-challenge-austenland-and-babylit.html

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  44. I love the audio version. Especially while toting my Boydlings here there and everywhere. I also recommend audio when people complain they cant follow Austen style– somehow being read to makes it more understandable to my new recruits.

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  45. My favorite character in Pride and Prejudice is Elizabeth Bennet. Jane Austen’s original title, ‘First Impressions’ applies to her. She is often wrong in her ‘first impressions,’ especially with regard to Darcy and Wickham. But she discovers her mistakes and forges on.
    My least favorite character is not Mr. Collins or Wickham, but the Wicked Witch of Kent, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. She is evil thru and thru. Condensing, she offers Elizabeth to ‘use the pianoforte in the governess’ room so she will not disturb anyone else. She interrupts and want to know what are others discussing. One of my favorite scenes is when she ‘confronts’ Elizabeth in the ‘wildness’ of Longbourn. Elizabeth is successful in counteracting each of Lady Catherine’s barbs but wins the victory.
    W. Lesso

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  46. I cannot not name Mr Darcy as a favourite character, can I? But I think two characters that have always left me wanting more are Georgiana Darcy and Mr. Bennet.

    As for one I do not like at all, it has to be Mrs. Bennet. After reading a the book numerous times (and watching the miniseries), I just cannot chuckle at her scenes much anymore. And I’m usually left annoyed with her. Which is in part why she’s there.. but I still dislike her for it.

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  47. Pingback: A challenging 2013, part 2 « Stewartry

  48. Favorite Austen book, perhaps because it’s the first I read and discussed with my mother. We also watched the 1979/80 adaptation together (and every other Austen adaptation since then). Favorite character is Elizabeth, but love so many of them. Least fave…hard to say, they all play such a wonderful part in the book even if they are “baddies.” Maybe Mr. Hurst is least fave since he doesn’t do anything! ;-)

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  50. Loved your review, Laurel Ann. My favorites are Elizabeth and Darcy, hands down, but I do love Colonel Fitzwilliam, Jane, Mr. Bennet and Georgiana. They are all lovely characters too and it is such fun to read stories that include more of them.

    Currently I am reading ‘The Darcys & The Bingleys by Marsha Altman. It isn’t enjoyable read and I will leave a link to my review when finished.

    Thanks

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  51. Oh my goodness! I obviously didn’t proof my post. That was supposed to be, ‘It IS an enjoyable read. So terribly sorry for that mistype. I tried to find a way to delete and repost but can’t find Delete button! Ugh!

    My extreme apologies to Marsha Altman for the error.

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  52. I first read P&P for a high school english class 40 years ago. I was immediately hooked on Austen and became a life member of JASNA in the 80’s. I was never able to attend any events due to my schedule but have enjoyed reading all the JASNA doings. For the challenge I decided to treat myself to a reread of P&P as my beginning. I have always loved Elizabeth and Darcy but also really liked Aunt Gardiner’s relationship with ELizabeth, Jane and Mr Gardner. It was somehow comforting to know Elizabeth had a role model and confidant. Aunt Catherine is the character I like the least….probably because she is so bitter and controlling.
    The audiobook would be fun!

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  53. Pingback: Giveaway Winner Announced for the Naxos Audiobooks edition of Pride and Prejudice « Austenprose – A Jane Austen Blog

  54. Screen adaptations
    Jane Austen‘s Pride and prejudice – the relationship between text and film
    Deborah Cartmell
    Published 2010
    Methuen Drama A and C Black Publishers Ltd

    This book on the screen adaptations of Pride and Prejudice was my first read on this 2013 challenge. I have to say I have read Pride and Prejudice many times. Please watch out for spoilers in this review.
    Deborah Cartmell’s book can be read on many levels from close reading as part of a course on literature and film and as lighter reading to enhance any reading of the book or watching of the films.
    The author looks first at a timeline of Pride and Prejudice adaptations. This section gives synopsis of the various adaptations.
    Part two of this small book, of 136 pages in total, wades in with a detailed look at the screen openings of several of the Pride and Prejudice films. I had not realised what liberties screen writers and directors have taken with the text as written by Jane Austen. In the 1940 film version starring Laurence Olivier as Mr Darcy and Greer Garson as Elizabeth Bennet, for example, Mr Collins is given the role of librarian instead of being the clergyman who has been appointed to a living by Lady Catherine de Bourgh. The biggest difference in this version was that Lady Catherine is no longer a formidable lady but is transformed to a kindly old lady. Lady Catherine comes to see Elizabeth to see whether she is attracted to Darcy by his great wealth or whether she really loves him. For me this detailed look sends me happily back to the original book and prompts me to watch the many films made of Pride and Prejudice from 1938 onwards to see what I think.
    The last section of the book looks at critical responses and the afterlife of the novel’s adaptations. Websites devoted to all things Jane Austen like “The Republic of Pemberley “are mentioned as part of the afterlife of the novels of Jane Austen.
    Sadly Austenprose does not get a mention.
    The writing was not dry but it is scholarly and I did find it annoying that many facts are repeated.
    For example Elizabeth Bennet is seen as a mixture of two other characters, Elinor and Marianne in Sense and Sensibility a Jane Austen novel and this is written about in several places in the book
    This book provides a wealth of material to give an enjoyable read for those who want to look that little bit closer at Pride and Prejudice and the many adaptations with lots of ideas for further study.

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    • Thank you for this great review, Ann! I will look for this book, as it sounds very interesting and will enjoy comparing with analysis I read in the short “Celebrating Pride and Prejudice” by Hazel Jones and Maggie Lane.

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  55. For my January reading I selected “Mr Darcy the Secret of Becoming a Gentleman” by Maria Hamilton
    The story begins after Mr Darcy’s disastrous proposal in Kent. He goes home to London wondering how he can get Elizabeth out of his head. Taking her comments to heart he begins the process of trying to bring Jane and Bingley back together again – even though he knows it means he will have to face Elizabeth.
    His first step is to find out what Jane’s feelings are for Bingley. To do this he travels to Netherfield alone and visits Longbourn. Mrs Bennett is her usual self but Lizzy is amazed at how Darcy works to make conversation with her mother. He even goes so far as to attend an assembly and dance with many of teh young women there.
    In the process of bringing Bingley and Jane back together again, he strives to show Lizzy that he has taken her criticism to heart and has become a changed man.
    Of course we all know how it will work out in the end. Happily, he warns the family of Wickham’s character and Lydia is saved from a disastrous marriage. The most fun scene in the book is one in which Mr Bennett gives Darcy a hard time when he comes to ask for Elizabeth’s hand. For once in his life, Darcy faces the fact that he might not get what he wants.
    My only criticism of this book is that with 3 weeks to go to the wedding, Lizzy shows up in Darcy’s bedroom for sex. It wasn’t necessary to the plot, didn’t move the story along and was totally out of character for Darcy and Lizzy. And let’s face it – sex before marriage is defintely NOT one of the Secrets to Becoming a Gentleman.
    (less)

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  56. I am so sorry, but I think I am confused…is this where I should leave the post about my January P&P reading for the 2013 Bicentenary Challenge? (I already posted a Goodreads “review” as I do for everything I read.)

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    • #1 Entry for the 2013 Pride and Prejudice 200th Anniversary Challenge

      I tried carefully to apportion the pages in this rereading of Pride and Prejudice, so I would complete them on the anniversary date of the publication. As I look back, it is difficult to remember that I have read this – my favorite Jane Austen novel – nearly 50 times since my 13th birthday when I was first given it by my grandmother. The wonderful characters, the intriguing plot, the elegant prose, the biting wit, the perfect irony – every element has only grown better and richer with each reading.

      It has been arguably the most influential novel in the history of English literature, from Mrs. Gaskell’s North and South to half of all the current rom-com movies and TV series. Boy and girl meet, they hate each other and then they finally fall in love. While most popular adaptions of this story line may not have the psychological subtlety or intricacy of Jane Austen’s original novel, there is usually an element of maturing and self-knowledge even in the most cotton-candy plots, which is part of the legacy of Jane Austen.

      I will always love the independence of Elizabeth, admire the gentleness of Jane, enjoy the humor of Mr. Bennet, laugh at Mr. Collins, appreciate the kindness of the Gardiners, fantasize about Mr. Darcy and celebrate when “Happy for all her maternal instincts was the day on which Mrs. Bennet got rid of her two most deserving daughters.”

      on 22 January 2013 at 3:15 pm | Reply ladysusanpdx

      #2 Entry for the 2013 Pride & Prejudice 200th Anniversary Challenge

      Although Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001) was not on my original list, I viewed it with a friend who had never seen the film. We both enjoyed it a great deal and, of course, loved the casting ofColin Firth as Mark Darcy. Renee
      Zellweger was very likeable as Bridget. Certainly she was not Elizabeth Bennet, but she was warm and witty and had grown by the end and turned down the Wickamesque Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) in favor of her Mr. Darcy. The screenplay by Andrew Davies, who did the 1995 version, was thoroughly charming. I was glad to see this movie again so many years later.

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  57. This comment refers to the Bicentenary Challenge, but first, even though the contest is over, I must have my share of the conversation.

    My least favorite character is Lydia. There are characters who infuriate me more, but at least Lady Catherine and Mr. Collins are amusing, while the youngest Bennet is little more than a nuisance. My favorite character is Darcy. No finer hero exists. Great review!

    Here is my first review for the challenge, The Three Colonels by Jack Caldwell: http://alexaadams.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-three-colonels-by-jack-caldwell.html

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  58. I’m finally going to do my first review for the bicentenary challenge. I hope this is the right place.

    First a few weeks ago I watched the `1940 version of P&P. I don’t know what I expected but I loved it. It was definitely different. Olivier was very handsome and I couldn’t take my eyes off him and Garson was wonderfully witty. As far as following the novel, it was so far off but spot on in the feelings it portrayed. The costumes were truely beautiful and the background serene. It reminded me of “Gone with The Wind”. In this story it takes place in the spring and it all comes together quite quickly. And all the characters we love to hate in the end somehow redeem themselves. I ended up loving Lady Catherine! A definite must see. Wonderfully diverting!! :D

    I also reread the first P&P fanfic books for me. I felt that this was a good starting point for my challenge because these 2books is what continued my addiction. The book seris was by Regina Jeffers (Darcy’s Passions & Darcy’s Temptations). I absolutely loved these 2 books and felt it reaffirmed what I suspected Darcy was feeling. This seris also continued thru to the marriage for the first year. And like a good book there are trials and misunderstandings and a little intrigue thrown in. I cryed and was overjoyed all over again during this reread. I thoughly enjoyed my trip back down the first 2 books ever read by me in the the Fanfic phenominon.

    Thanks Laurel Ann for the challenge!! :D

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  59. Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge 2013

    I do not have a blog, so here is my post for January.

    #1. Re-read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen:

    This is my all time favorite novel. I read it every year, sometimes more than once. When I’m feeling blue, or when I can’t decide which book from my TBR list to read next, I’ll turn to P&P. One can never tire of reading this story.

    #2. Re-Viewed Persuasion 1995 Hinds/Root version:

    In my opinion, this is the second best Jane Austen film adaptation. (P&P 1995 is first of course) One of my favorite scenes is when they are in Lyme and Capt. Benwick and Anne are discussing poetry and Capt. B’s loss, with Capt. Wentworth looking on. The VERY best scene is Capt. Harville and Anne debating which of their sex can claim to be the most constant. That, leads us to the greatest letter ever in print, written by Capt. Wentworth.

    #3. Read Pride and Prejudice and the Perfect Match by Marilyn Brant

    “Where true love is just a fib and a click away.” Goodreads

    For a research paper regarding male/female stereotypes, Beth Bennet signs up for a internet dating service.

    Dr. William Darcy is trying to win a bet that will provide funding for a new clinic, also signs up.

    Neither one is looking for love, however to their astonishment, the enjoy each others emails and decide to meet. After a series of casual dates, it appears this could be a perfect match. But, as always, secrets and fibs are revealed. Can they overcome their pride and forgive each other?

    Next month our book club is reading Persuasion. (another novel I read every year)

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  60. It is so validating to read so many lovely enthusiastic reviews and praises of Jane Austen and Austenesque type novels, after being a closet P&P lover for so long! I have found many books to add to my reading enjoyment! Thank you to all and especially to Laurel Ann!

    I too have always loved and longed to be like Elizabeth Bennett and she will always be my favorite character. My least favorite is probably Mrs. Bennett as she is so annoying and destroys (almost) the chances for happiness of dear Lizzie and Jane, but at least she does wish for her daughters’ happiness, so perhaps Lydia and Wickham as one responder mentioned are the worst and how deserving of each other!

    Along with beginning the re-reading of The Annotated P&P, my first choices for this challenge are: ‘Celebrating Pride and Prejudice’ by Hazel Jones and Maggie Lane, as well as the Jan/Feb edition of ‘Jane Austen’s Regency World’ magazine.

    In the short 60 pages of ‘Celebrating Pride and Prejudice’, Jones and Lane nicely cover the creation and subsequent rise to fame of Pride and Prejudice, as well as it’s history and a short analysis of the movies that have resulted. Many lovely photos are included of different locations and actors. I especially enjoyed hearing how the 1940’s movie with Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier was influenced by Gone With the Wind, as well as a desire to create an upbeat story during those depressing times. (I then watched my old and damaged VHS copied edition from some TV showing many years ago, and enjoyed it so much more! I plan to purchase a new DVD of it, if available.)

    My subscription to Jane Austen’s Regency World, “the official magazine of The Jane Austen Centre, Bath”, was a gift from my husband in November and is wonderfully exciting to receive bimonthly! I didn’t receive it till the middle of January but almost immediately read it cover to cover. This special first edition of 2013 celebrated the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice. It is devoted entirely to it with articles covering the early days of the book, different actors who have played Darcy, another featuring Colin Firth, a special comparison on Sisters, so prevalent in many of Austen’s stories, an account of the place of journeys in those times, such as Elizabeth’s trip with the Gardeners, and an interesting analysis of the economics of the times especially as it pertained to marriage as illustrated in Pride and Prejudice. It even has a competition to win Susannah Fullerton’s ‘Happily Ever After!’

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  62. My first review for the 2013 Pride and Prejudice Bicentary Challenge:

    “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen, read by Emilia Fox (Naxos Audiobooks)

    Last week I traveled to Longbourn and Pemberley again – and, upon my word, it was so good to be back!

    Emilia Fox is an outstanding narrator. She has managed to find the nuance for every character, artfully bringing each to life. I absolutely loved to hate Lady Catherine, Mrs. Bennet and Mr. Collins. Mr. Collins’ vulgarity and pomposity, in particular, made me cringe.

    I found myself smiling and nodding my head as I listened. I believe it was all the familiar lines: I would anticipate them, and then they would arrive and I would be so happy to hear them again. Just like old friends.

    It is astonishing how well Jane Austen understood the human condition. She had such incredible insight, knowledge, and wit. Oh, the wit – so much, so often, and such fun! This one made me laugh out loud:

    “An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.” 


    In contrast, the relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy was so lovely and so timeless. I wish for everyone a love as beautiful and complete as was theirs.

    I can’t remember when I last read “Pride and Prejudice” but, however long it’s been, I’m not waiting that long again!

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  63. For the Bicentenniary Challenge:

    Lost in Austen (2008 miniseries)

    I really liked Lost in Austen, especially the changes to characters like Wickham. It reminded my of Confessions/Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict. What I would have liked to have seen, though, were Elizabeth’s adventures in modern-day London, a la Ms. Rigler’s books. I wonder if that was the original plan, and then the miniseries never progressed into anything more? Regardless, it was very entertaining and made me long for similar adventures into other Austen works.

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  64. January Read for this Challenge:
    Re-Read books:
    Sharon Lathan Mr.&Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy
    #1 Two Shall become One
    #2 Loving Mr.Darcy
    #3 My Dearest Mr. Darcy
    #4 In the Arms of Mr. Darcy
    #5 The Trouble of Mr. Darcy

    New Reads:
    D.W. Wilkin
    Colonel Fitzwilliam’s Correspondence

    Mary Lydon Simonsen
    Darcy on the Hudson

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  65. Challenge Entry #1 I decided to reread P&P to start off the year. I do so love the descriptive language. I have to refer to it as a “comfort read” so familiar and so good. I think that I appreciate Mrs Gardiner more with each reread.

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  66. Challenge entry #1:
    The P & P audiobook read by Josephine Bailey (2008). I was sorry when it ended. This time I was struck by how deft Austen is at revealing character through dialog. Her minor characters have been criticized as being caricatures rather than well-rounded people, but I don’t agree. I will say that their outrageousness (Mrs Bennet, Mr Collins) is exaggerated, but unfortunately people like this do actually exist. Austen presents them in a way that makes you laugh, rather than cringe.

    I’ve noticed that when I read P & P now, I am concentrating on her description of what Mr Darcy is doing and saying. I have read so many Darcy diaries at this point that I am constantly trying to determine whose interpretation is most accurate.

    Challenge entry #2:
    P & P 1940
    This is really only about half of P & P, but I still it like despite the numerous liberalities taken with the text. The characters are mostly spot on. Sir Laurence is the screen Darcy closest to my mental picture, although the character portrayed as much less haughty and reserved than Darcy is.

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  67. Who needs Mr Darcy ? The adventures and exploits of the bad Miss Bennett by Jean Burnett
    Paperback published in Great Britain by Sphere 2012 – ISBN 978 0 7515 4704 – 7
    Also published in the United States but the the title is The Bad Miss Bennet
    Who Needs Mr. Darcy?

    I start this second review on the challenge with the first paragraph because it gives a flavour of what I like and also what I dislike about this book.
    Pemberley – Sept.1815
    Black does not become me: I am convinced that it drains my complexion of all life. I suggested to Lizzie that I might wear something in pale grey; perhaps frilled muslin threaded with purple velvet ribbon at dinner this evening. The look of horror on her face rapidly put an end to that idea. Marriage to Mr. Darcy has transformed my sister into a model of propriety and mysteriously removed her sense of humour.
    What to wear seems to be a preoccupying issue with the writer in this journal, Miss Lydia Marianne Bennet Wickham (with the help of the author Jean Burnett). I enjoyed reading about the way Lydia solved her dilemmas and the details of the various dresses Lydia and other characters were wearing. I do not like the way that Elizabeth is portrayed as continually putting Lydia down as in this look of horror on Elizabeth’s face but maybe this is because this is what it feels like to Lydia and Who needs Darcy? is written very much from Lydia‘s viewpoint.
    Jane Austen wrote a lot about elegance in the orginial Pride and Prejudice of which this is a spin off. Elegance is the result of choosing appropriately for the occasion and the circumstance so if clothes are being chosen a new widowed lady like Lydia to be truly elegant would wear black and not go into the half mourning of grey and purple too soon. Elizabeth knows how to recognize elegance when she sees it for example in her Aunt Gardiner. Jane Austen describes Mrs. Gardiner in Chapter 25 of Pride and Prejudice as an amiable, intelligent, elegant woman, and a great favourite with all her Longborn nieces. Between the two eldest and herself especially, there subsisted a very particular regard. They had frequently been staying with her in town.
    Lydia starts who needs Darcy? as a widow, Wickham having died at Waterloo. Thus I (Lydia writes in her in chapter 1 of this tale ) find myself in this predicament; homeless, lacking in personal possessions and with nothing but an army pension scarcely sufficient to keep a mouse in cheese.
    Elegance is not important to Lydia. Jane Austen writes in chapter 23 of Pride and Prejudice that she was always unguarded and often uncivil. So what becomes important to Lydia in this book is to secure an income, a house and possessions particularly dresses. She is not about to consider what she should wear for half mourning. This reader relished the ride as Lydia embarks on her quest to find her own life, a house of her own, an income with money for dresses, and of course footmen. Good fortune looks within her grasp several times and then gets snatched again but Lydia always has plans to try again.
    I liked the unexpected twists woven into this light tale. It is a true page turner. Jane Austen gave Pride and Prejudice a tremendous pace and things roar along with never a dull moment and the same is true in this book. Lydia gets up to the most amazing adventures traveling all over the place from London, to Bath, and over to Paris and across the Alps to Italy.
    When Elizabeth and Darcy appear in the journal it is very clear Darcy can not stand his sister in law Lydia and this seemed to me to a sad thing for Jean Burnett to have introduced. After all in the original book Darcy goes out of his way to help Wickham and Lydia make a respectable alliance and does it all for the sake of Elizabeth.
    I did not like the way Darcy‘s eyes seem to bulge and swivel alarming when Darcy is in Lydia’s company. The provocation in one case seems that Lydia has lifted her skirt discreetly to show some ankle to Darcy. Other men delight in this so why not Darcy speculates Lydia but she seems to only annoy Darcy maybe because she is so childish. I had hoped Lydia would grow more likable in this book but this was not to be.
    I nearly wrote poor Lydia and I did not expect to begin to pity this bad Miss Bennet but this is often the emotion that is evoked in me. Why should I be treated as a child s solely because I am poor and female? – she moans at one point and I began to see her view as eligible males who have no love for Lydia are paraded before her.
    I liked the way Adelaide who is Lydia‘s maid helps Lydia out and at one point they sob together about their fate.
    At the end of the book little hints are given that this may not be the end of the adventure and I look forward to more of the journal from the pen of Jean Burnett.

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  68. challenge entry #2 Echoes of Pemberley Cynthia Ingram Hensley. I read alot of fan fiction and this was one of my favorites. It is a modern story of Pemberly and the Darcy family with quite a few parallels to the original…they live at Pemberley, Ben has raised 16 yr old Catie since their parents died etc. I really liked Catie as her spunk reminded me so much of Elizabeth. I think Elizabeth and Darcy would approve of Ben and Catie as their descendants.

    entry # 3 Pride and Prejudice and the Perfect Match Marilyn Brant
    This was another modern varation but without any direct correlations to the original. It was a fun read but the story line was pretty far fetched. Definitely not one of my favorites.

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  70. My apologies for posting this in the wrong thread initially, I haven’t done one of these challenges before and I included it with the location of my list, but of course it should have been separate as the first review.

    I bought a copy of Austenland by Shannon Hale which I’d seen recommended several times. My review is here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/497867987

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  71. We watched the 1995 A&E Pride & Prejudice movie. This is by far the best theatrical version. The scene in episode 5 where Elizabeth saves Georgiana from embarrassment after hearing Wickham’s name is known by us as “THE LOOK!” Anyone would be lucky to be the recipient of his gaze and the slightest curl of his lips into a smile.

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  74. I want to buy this Naxos Audiobook. I love Pride and Prejudice. I want Sense and Sensibility as well as Emma and Jane Eyre. I love Jane Austen! :D

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