“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s witty comedy of manners—one of the most popular novels of all time—that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues. Renowned literary critic and historian George Saintsbury in 1894 declared it the “most perfect, the most characteristic, the most eminently quintessential of its author’s works,” and Eudora Welty in the twentieth century described it as “irresistible and as nearly flawless as any fiction could be.”
Jane Austen used the world of social status and family ties to tell a story between the Bennets, Bingleys, and Mr. Darcy. Throughout the book, questionable decisions create situations that make you resent the Bennets and grind your teeth. Jane Austen told a story full of irony and fantastical situations that we today would not find ourselves in. The book itself was very well written, even if we did have to decode the text. The people, although some intolerable, were relatable in their mistakes and left you laughing at their comments. I found that my favourite characters were those that used sarcasm, such as Elizabeth and Mr. Bennet. They way the characters were portrayed left you with wonder and astonishment as their words and actions were unusual to what we would think about doing today.
Overall, the book was good, but did not meet the expectation of popular tellings. As I read, I found myself with one of two feelings. Either wanting to continue because the actions of the people were enjoyable to me, or fighting the urge to stop as the story hit a standstill. This book would not be my first choice of recommendation, but is neither one I would tell people to stay away from.