Will I Never Tire Of You

Confession: I have read Pride and Prejudice literally dozens of times.  I’ve seen the BBC mini-series starring the dashing Colin Firth a couple of times and the 2005 film version with Keira Knightley probably hundreds of times (not joking) and yet, even now, I can pick up the classic published back in 1813 at any given time, begin reading from any given page, and still become, instantly, captivated.

I marvel at the character development and the funny, heartfelt, yet simultaneously satirical social interactions between the characters.  To be a good storyteller, one needs a certain way with words and a good grasp of plot, indeed, but also, I think, an excellent understanding of human nature and behavior, something Jane Austen had in spades.  Her stories (the earliest of romantic comedies) are the tales after which almost every successful romantic comedy since has been modeled.  But more than that, they were social satires as well, remarking on the folly of human beings, our self-assigned importance and the absurdity of certain forms of etiquette.  Austen lived in 19th century England, a time where social norms were revered practically as law, and her novels clearly reveal just how useless she found many of them to be.

I’m assuming most of you know the story: young, spirited Elizabeth Bennet is thrown into the company of wealthy and seemingly arrogant Mr. Darcy who snubs her upon their first meeting.  After spending some time together, however, Mr. Darcy falls for Elizabeth and is shocked when she rebuffs his offer of marriage.  She has come to regard him as the coldest, most condescending bore she’s ever known, mostly from a certain affection she’s developed for a charming young man who has gone out of his way to falsely defame Darcy’s integrity and because of Darcy’s own prideful behavior.  After several months and many revealing circumstances, both learn to overcome their own pride and ill-conceived prejudices and realize that they are exceedingly compatible and rather passionately in love.

The love story is perfectly paced, fully developed and told in suspenseful and bewitching language.  What makes this classic a classic, though, is the effective use of the side characters and subplots not just to complicate and propel forward the central plot, but make very poignant, often hilarious, sometimes biting social commentary.  We humans are prone to insecurity, pomp and nonsense and Austen expertly maneuvered her sharp observations into this light-hearted, charming and very funny love story.

I’m always on the lookout for a new book to love and I have a particular soft spot for the classics.  Leave a comment and tell me which of your favorites I should read next.

~Nikki

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6 thoughts on “Will I Never Tire Of You

  1. I love this book and I LOVE the 2005 movie with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfayden – my favorite Darcy. He was just so perfectly Darcy for me, I can’t even begin to gush. Love this post! 🙂

  2. My favorites are “Gone with the Wind” and “The House of Mirth” by Edith Wharton. Have loved GWTW and can literally read the book over and over again, cover to cover. The characters are so compelling (even Scarlett, who I should hate but often emphasize with) and the style is so well-refined.

    Still reading “The House of Mirth”, but Lily Bart’s story has kept me hooked over the past few weeks. Especially now, with the recession and other economic turmoil, Lily’s predicaments seem very appropriate. After that, I’m planning to work my way through Jane Austen’s collection…summer reading! 🙂

    • I have never read GWTW or The House of Mirth! Thanks for the recommendations! The House of Mirth especially sounds like something I’d like.

      Pride and Prejudice is by far my favorite, but every one of Austen’s novels are well worth reading.

      Thanks,
      ~N.

  3. I, too, have read Pride and Prejudice too many times to count. Every time it’s on TV, watch out! It’ll be on marathon for the whole day. XD

    Out of Austen’s other books Sense and Sensibility is also a personal favourite and Northanger Abbey and Emma close behind. 😀

    • I’ve read all 6 of Austen’s novels and I agree that Sense & Sensibility is excellent. Northanger Abbey and Emma were also enjoyable as was Mansfield Park.

      Persuasion is probably my 2nd favorite of the six, behind Pride and Prejudice, of course. I highly recommend reading it, if you haven’t already. For too many reasons to name, nothing beats P&P for me. 🙂

      Thanks!
      ~Nikki

  4. I prefer the Knightley P&P to the Firth/Ehle’s P&P myself — for slightly eccentric reasons, maybe. It’s under the “Jane Austen” category on my blog, if you’re interested. Austen does hit the sweet spot between brilliant and readable for me.

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