I first read “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen back in eighth grade. I don’t know why because it wasn’t part of my required school reading (not that those were the only books I read because they weren’t). But I do remember finding a lonely little copy of it in the middle school library, a copy that probably hadn’t been checked out for months or possibly even years. I don’t think I was purposefully looking for it (it has been about twelve years since the event so maybe I just don’t remember it) but the book went home with me nonetheless.
And I loved it. I’ve probably read the book, and watched the Keira Knightley version of the movie, about a half dozen times or more and if I read it again today I would still love it. But I probably won’t because I have a massive “to read” list and I’d like to get it some new things/finish up some series I started awhile ago before I re-read other things.
Now onto why I loved it so much.
And even though the internet is full of women and memorabilia honoring the love of Fitzwilliam Darcy I honestly think the main reason I loved the book was Elizabeth Bennet. She’s smart and loves books, she doesn’t subscribe to the rules and restrictions of her time period and gender, because of that she wants to marry for love. Those are the makings of a strong heroine to me, a woman who isn’t afraid to be intelligent and who doesn’t really give a damn about societal conventions and it was even more interesting that she was a character in a book written by a woman who had published her books anonymously because of exactly what Austen was writing about, societal conventions. I have always thought that was both interesting and ironic.
And the love of “Pride and Prejudice” has led me to read several other of Jane Austen’s works and buy a collection which I have yet to finish (but will most likely work on in the near future).