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“Pride and Prejudice” (Image courtesy of Apocalove via deviantArt.) See Acknowledgements and Attributions.

I’m a big fan of the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice.  Maybe you are too.  I could watch this version over and over again.  In fact, I have.  But until recently, I had not read the book.  I finally rectified that.  August was Jane Austen month, and I can say that I read it, and enjoyed it very much.

The thing I liked best of all was getting to know the characters a little bit more. I’ve seen them on my television, but a movie can’t cover everything.

Elizabeth Bennett .  Elizabeth’s intellectual nimbleness became very obvious in the argument with Lady Catherine.  The scene is masterful.  Elizabeth acknowledges Lady Catherine’s rights to meddle in the affairs of her nephew, but then says quite clearly that Lady Catherine has no business interfering in her own happiness.  In other words “Who made you the boss of me?”

Jane Bennett.  I like Jane.  Even if she is a bit of a ninny.  You kind of want to hug her and strangle her at the same time.

Mary Bennett.  Poor Mary. She’s so overlooked.  Not pretty or charming enough to compete with her older sisters, and not enough of a party girl for the younger girls.  I wondered whether she might not make a good match with Mr. Collins, but I’m not sure that she was adept enough with her social skills to please Lady Catherine.  Do you think Mr. Collins would have settled on Mary if Charlotte hadn’t stolen him away?

Charlotte Lucas (aka Charlotte Collins aka Temptress of Lucas Lodge).
Who knew that Charlotte had it in her to take Mr. Collins.  Sure he’s a fool, but Charlotte played the hand she was dealt and came off pretty well.  She was well aware of her limitations. She had no fortune, no beauty and she didn’t want to live on the charity of her brothers.  She wanted her own home, and she got it.

Charlotte should open up her own dating service because she gives pretty good advice.  She tells Elizabeth that Jane should show more affection than she feels for Bingley in order to secure him.  Perhaps if Jane had done so, Darcy would not have doubted whether Jane had true feelings for his friend, Bingley, and then maybe Darcy wouldn’t have interfered so much on behalf of his friend. Charlotte also advises Elizabeth not to let her fancy for Wickham lead her to refuse Darcy’s invitation to dance as Mr. Darcy is ten times of more consequence.

Lydia Bennett (aka Lydia Wickham aka Airhead).  Lydia Bennett is hard to pity.  Perhaps Austen didn’t want us to pity her so much as to be exasperated by her.  Lydia herself probably wouldn’t want my pity anyway.  She has no sense of decorum, and no sense of gratefulness. Indeed, she has no sense at all.  Maybe Wickham and Lydia do belong together.

Have you read Pride and Prejudice?  More than once? Which Jane Austen book do you recommend I read next?

Acknowledgements and Attributions

The image “Pride and Prejudice” was used with express permission from artist Apocalove at deviantArt.com.