The Classic of the Month: Pride and Prejudice

Welcome to our new series: The Classic of the Month!  I love reading the classics!  These are a diverse collection of books written by a wide array of authors, but they collectively get a bad rap for being dull, dry, or outdated, which is completely unfair.  Although, classics readers don’t always help, either.  When asked why someone should read the classics, how often do we respond with “Well, because they’re the classics?”  Not only does this not tell you anything about the book, but it doesn’t tell you about the ideal audience, the author, or any of the juicy details that make it worth reading.  Nor does it show the depth and breadth of the genres or stories.  From Call of the Wild to Flatland, and from Anne of Green Gables to The Prince, I truly believe that there is a classic for everyone, if we could just put the right book into the hands of the right reader.

So, how does this work?  For each book selected in this series, we’ll look at the opening line (or lines) of the book to give you a feel for the author’s writing style.  Then, I’ll provide a short synopsis of the title, and finally, wrap this up with a list of appeals—or reasons why you might enjoy this book.  If I’ve sparked your interest, you can find listing for all the formats that the book comes in (through our collection), both print and digital.

Enough of me rambling!  Let’s get this series started!

Book of the Month

Pride and Prejudice (1813) by Jane Austen

Opening Words

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighborhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

What’s it all About?

Pride and Prejudice is the story of the Bennet sisters (Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia), but mostly focuses on the second eldest, Elizabeth.  When a neighboring estate is purchased by the rich, handsome, and most importantly single Charles Bingley, the Bennet household is thrown into a tizzy.  After all, Mrs. Bennet’s one goal in life is to see her daughters married—and one of the five sisters needs to snatch up this eligible bachelor before someone else does!  The Bennets meet Bingley at a dance, and it soon becomes apparent that he’s smitten with eldest sister Jane and she likes him, too! 

And fortunately for the other four, there are plenty of eligible young men in Mr. Bingley’s social circle—surely enough for each sister to find her ideal husband!  But, when Elizabeth crosses swords with Bingley’s best friend, the handsome—and conceited—Mr. Darcy, sparks fly and the battle of the sexes begins.

Read this if you Enjoy…

  • Historical Fiction
  • Enemies-to-lovers romance
  • Witty banter
  • A strong female protagonist

Interested? Check it out Here!

[Book] [Large Print Book] [Hoopla] [Overdrive]

[Book on CD] [Playaway] [Hoopla Audiobook] [Overdrive Audiobook]

Final Thoughts

Pride and Prejudice was easily the most popular book in the entire English department when I was in college. One would have been hard-pressed to find someone who had not at least read it, even if it wasn’t a favorite. The story is witty, romantic, and a lot of fun, with dramatic reveals, a colorful cast of characters, and a lot of quick humor. It has inspired multiple movies (I particularly enjoyed the 1995 BBC mini series starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, as well as the 2005 film with Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen), and dozens of books, from adaptations to modern retellings and from murder mysteries to zombie-slaying adventures. Perhaps this only stands to demonstrate the enduring appeal of this classic book, which continues to delight generations of readers.

Erin

I'm the Reader's Advisory Librarian at WPPL. My interests include old horror films, classic novels, manga and anime, paper-crafting, and plants. If you like my suggestions, you can request personalized recommendations from me on My Librarian page.