If you’re a human being who has ever had a conversation with another human being, you’ll likely have heard of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Even if you’ve never had a conversation with another human being, you’ll likely have heard of the title of the book at least.
Please note that this article contains affiliate links. This means if you choose to purchase any products via the links provided, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you that goes towards supporting the blog. These affiliate links do not affect my final opinion of the product.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is one of the most celebrated novels of all time – not only due to its incredible look into the gentry lives of people in the late 18th century but also because of the incredible history of Jane Austen herself. Austen initially published her books, noting that they were simply “written by a woman”. These then went on to sell incredibly well and so in her later novels she was acclaimed as being the author.
Pride and Prejudice focuses on the upper-class life of Elizabeth Bennett and her family’s attempts to marry into wealth in an effort to keep her family’s line going. Her father’s current estate can only survive if he has a male heir and he does not, he has five daughters, so it is the need for the daughters to marry into a good family to ensure the family’s survival.
Pride and Prejudice plot – 4/5
Pride and Prejudice is a story that has gone on to influence so many different forms of literature in some way or another. Many romance novels have some hint of Pride and Prejudice in them. Pride and Prejudice is all about Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy’s attraction toward one another and their on and off-again relationship. Mr Darcy is introduced as a new, wealthy, handsome but incredibly unlikable man – he seems shy and rude and doesn’t really seem interested in interacting with anyone. However, after some time, he eases up and shows Elizabeth a much more amiable side, backed by almost everybody Mr Darcy knows.
The book is really about wealth and class and the need for women to marry into rich families and for men to take on the estates and the running of the family. If you’ve been watching or reading Bridgerton lately, you’ll know how Pride and Prejudice works too.
Rating Pride and Prejudice’s plot is difficult and it’s so far from anything I’ve ever read – the idea of social class, needing to marry for money etc doesn’t interest me. However, there are certain elements of this that I did find really interesting such as Elizabeth and Mr Darcy’s almost comical relationship. Many are used to women bending to men, but Elizabeth is not of this ilk and doesn’t wish to make Mr Darcy happy merely because he displeases everyone else so much. It is her strong will, stubbornness and almost sheer unwillingness to accept others’ problems and find good in everyone.
Pride and Prejudice – 5/5
I think the characters are where Pride and Prejudice shines. As I just mentioned, the character of Elizabeth Bennett is fantastic. She’s a strong and yet incredibly kind woman. She has been described by Austen herself as “one of the most delightful a creature as ever appeared in print.” This is true. She’s by far the funniest and the most interesting character in the book with the only other being Mr Darcy himself.
Early on, we’re essentially taught to dislike Mr Darcy – he appears rude and with an ego too large to bother interacting with him. However, throughout the book, we begin to learn this may not be as it seems and there are actually other reasons for his harshness and his lack of social abilities. Being a man of much wealth, his invitation to parties is guaranteed, he doesn’t need the social activity or to be kind to others so he simply doesn’t bother partaking in being overly kind like those that need to be.
My other favourite character is Mr Bennett, Elizabeth’s father – he’s a man who you can tell seems to take life slightly less important than his wife (the daughters’ mother). He understands the need for wealthy marriages but also is keen to ensure his daughters are happy and in love when they marry and aren’t simply marrying for the continuation of his bloodline and inheritance.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen overall rating – 5/5
Pride and Prejudice, I’m not sure, is a book I’d read again. It’s a book so far from what I’d usually read and, if it wasn’t a celebrated classic, is unlikely a book I’d ever choose based on its plot. However, saying that, Elizabeth Bennett is absolutely fantastic, the story arc that she and Mr Darcy go through is brilliant and the writing is utterly stunning. Plus I was a huge fan of reading about the late 18th century not from a Historical Fiction point-of-view but from a genuine retelling of modern life back then.