My book group, Janeites on the James, will be revisiting Pride & Prejudice in January. It will be the 21st or 22nd time I have read it, a bit often, I know, but at each stage of my life the story of Darcy and Elizabeth takes on new meaning. These days I pay more attention to secondary characters, like Charlotte Lucas and Lydia Bennet, to whom I gave short shrift in earlier readings. In fact I shall read Charlotte’s story with more interest, knowing that with her limited options and beauty, she seized on her one opportunity to snare a husband. I will pay particular attention to her resourcefulness in finding some peace and quiet from Mr. Collins in her private area in the back parlor.
The most comprehensive site online about Pride & Prejudice is the one developed by The Republic of Pemberley, an encyclopedic site about all things Jane Austen.
Also of vast interest is the Annotated Pride and Prejudice by David Shapard, which is both entertaining and informative. As one reads the book, the left side is devoted to novel, and the right side contains his annotations. Here is what David Shapard wrote in a discussion board about discovering Jane Austen’s work:
I only altered that intention years later when, unexpectedly, several historical or philosophical books I read included admiring comments on her, and of the profound thought in her books. This made me undertake a complete reading of her works, and I was entranced, so much so that it was not long before I began rereading the novels, an unusual step for me. My entrancement even posed dangers for my work. While scrambling to finish my dissertation, on the French Enlightenment, I had picked up a battered paperback copy of Pride and Prejudice at a book sale, and found myself frequently taking time off from my writing to read it again and again, finding new brilliant subtleties every time I looked. More than once I admonished myself that this was foolish—after all, I had a looming deadline for my dissertation and needed to get back to work. But my admonishments did not always succeed, so captivated was I by the novel. Little did I imagine then that an annotated version of Pride and Prejudice, rather than an expanded version of that same dissertation, was to be my first published book.
- In this link find a series of images I found on the 1940 movie version of Pride & Prejudice, in which the film’s creator’s revamped the plot and costumes (Civil War era), and in which the two stars are much too old to play Lizzie and Mr. Darcy.
- The Most Annotated: The Annotated Pride and Prejudice, reviewed by Linda Bree
Images source: 1940 Film of Pride & Prejudice