Back to Top

Tag Archives: Pride and Prejudice

Now, in reality, the world have paid too great a compliment to critics,
and have imagined them to be men of much greater profundity then they really
are. –Henry Fielding

Thank you, Mr. Fielding. I hope to remember to be humble. I have finally seen the new Pride and Prejudice movie (I am not addressing this part to Mr. Fielding, as he is dead of course, and the book was written about 60 years or so after his time) and I am weighing in.

Firstly, I welcomed it with delight. As I sat in the theater during the opening scene–a marvelous, expansive scene of a country sunrise–I thought of how much I enjoy seeing a new adaptation of this old novel. And I asked myself not to expect it to be what I…er…expected. I know the novel, having read it several times, and I don’t mind seeing something that adds to it. In fact, I love being shown something more about the characters I love in a credible way. But I tend to be rather protective of the story, and hate to see it unnecessarily tweaked, and heavens–altered.

I attended the movie with four friends–all of whom are familiar with the story from previous film versions. One is currently reading the novel–she hadn’t finished it yet, but she does have a good grasp of the period.

This movie tries hard to put the long book into movie length. It did so by changing scenes in the novel, eliminating some and causing the necessary conversation to occur elsewhere. It eliminated Mrs. Phillips, a sister of Mrs. Bennett, and the Hursts, the married sister of Mr. Bingley and her husband. The latter did not do any real harm to the story, but being anal about P&P, I had to mention it.

I had made some critical remarks before about some movie photographs re: costuming, but now I am going to take them back–because I feel the movie did an excellent job with that. It illustrated very well the difference in dress between an ordinary young woman and a member of the nobility, and I also admired how Mrs. Bennett was dressed in the style of her own youth–something I feel is realistic for a woman of her time who did not have the time or money to spend in London keeping up with the latest style, and like many older women of today, chose to stay with what she was used to wearing. Even her shoes were of a Georgian style–shabby and soiled, but right. For that, I am (as Jane would say) all admiration.

I have mixed feelings about the relative poverty the Bennetts were shown to have. (If you haven’t seen the movie yet–although I believe I am one of the last to have seen it–the Bennett manor house seemed to be in the center of a barnyard). Possible–certainly. Intended by Jane–I tend to doubt. The Bennetts in this movie appeared to be more like a relatively well-to-do farm family than gentry. They were restricted financially, but I believe that they would not have lived so inimately with their livestock. Mrs. Bennett was conscious of appearances, and if they could afford expensive ball gowns for their daughters, I should think they could afford to have fences. Ahem….

Other story elements…I have to wonder if someone not familiar with the story could have followed it in the film very well. I can’t have that perspective, and neither could any of my friends. Has anyone heard anything in that respect? The scenes cut rapidly from one to the other, leaping across time without giving any indication of it. There was almost a feeling that the story took place in a few weeks’ time instead of several months. And I did miss the nuance that the eliminated scenes could have provided…as a better showing of Lydia’s character before her downfall, and more of an understanding of Elizabeth’s character.

Additionally, I think it did not give Lydia’s elopement the emphasis it deserves in the story. I may be mistaken, but her act, a shattering event in the book, did not seem to come across as the crisis it would have been. Perhaps in needed more real time in the movie? I am not sure.

Nitpicks: Some scenes bothered me, as the one in which Mr. Bingley looked in on Jane in her sickroom–I am sure this would not have happened. Darcy with his shirt unbuttoned! This was a great departure from propriety for a gentleman, and if it could not have been helped, he would have begged Elizabeth’s pardon for his state–even if he was in love.

I could have done without the very last scene. ::Sigh::. Something about it seemed… well…modern to me. I was glad to learn they were already married in that scene, but their being out of doors in what constituted their underwear (with servants about somewhere) seemed a bit wrong.

Not nitpicks: In many ways I loved this movie. The characterizations were wonderful and so was the acting. I loved Darcy’s shyness, once one of my friends pointed out that his discomfort was likely due to not knowing how to act when socializing with his inferiors–and I mentally kicked myself for not thinking of that. In short, I want to see the movie again. And I feel it will generate more interest in Jane Austen, and this is always good! And I did love that kiss in the proposal scene, in spite of Darcy’s shirt. Some things are just timeless.

Thank you for tolerating my reflections on this movie, since it is not a new topic here. I am going to go back and read previous opinions given in Risky Regencies now that I have a perspective.



I saw the new PRIDE AND PREJUDICE movie — and I really liked it! There were some historical anachronisms, I admit, but I think they did an amazing job distilling the story of the long novel down to just slightly more than two hours — and without cutting out one of the sisters, at the previous movie did! 🙂 (Though in the sense of full disclosure, I’ll concede they did cut out Mr and Mrs Hurst, and for some reason turned Fitzwilliam into Darcy’s friend rather than cousin.)

For those of you who haven’t had the chance to see it yet, here are some of my thoughts and impressions.

MacFadyen as Darcy is definitely a Heathcliff type here — but I thought it worked. Every P&P needn’t be the same. He was very intense, very sexy, and he and Keira Knightley had great chemistry together. She did a great Elizabeth, I thought — full of spirit and humor, and very fierce. I felt the two characters were well matched, and would have a great future together — very passionate, both with fighting and with….er…passion.

I love Colin Firth, and I also liked Olivier’s Darcy a lot (though he’s not the dreamiest in my book), but I liked MacFadyen very much — a lot more than I expected. In the preview I saw, I thought he didn’t look impressive, but he’s much better in the whole thing (without his lines being all chopped up!)

Of course, most of the characters didn’t get much time, so we don’t know the younger sisters, or the Bingleys, or Lady Catherine, or (particularly) Wickham they way we do in the BBC miniseries. But still, who can fault Judi Dench’s Lady Catherine?

Little things I loved: Lydia actually looked fifteen, and it even looked like she had acne. Jane was gorgeous — no wonder why everything thought she was the handsomest girl in the room!

A few things really bothered me — like Miss Bingley’s sleeveless dresses (the one shown here is the more normal one — there’s one she wears later for which the bodice looks like a bathing suit!) Also, what is it with the girls’ hair? I don’t recall girls wearing side ponytails of sausage curls in the 1790’s…or did I miss it? And why was Elizabeth (as well as others) wearing her hair down so much? Do they think modern movie viewers are so small-minded that they can’t like a woman with her hair up?

And yes, there might have been more wearing of gloves and bonnets (and, um, clothes) for my taste — but I understand why many of these choices were made. The important thing is the story — telling the story, and getting across the basics of a LOT of characters, all in two hours. Sometimes shorthand methods are the only way. (No glove pun intended!)

So, anyone else who’s seen it — what did you think? If you haven’t seen it, are you looking forward to it? (With fear or with anticipation?) 🙂 Please share!

Cara King,
MY LADY GAMESTER — Signet Regency, out now!!!

As you had not heard from me at that time it was very good in you to write, but I shall not be so much your debtor soon. – I want to tell you that I have got my own darling Child from London;  — on Wednesday I received one Copy, sent down by Falknor, with three lines from Henry to say that he had given another to Charles & sent a 3d by the Coach to Godmersham; just the two Sets which I was least eager for the disposal of.
Jane Austen to her sister, Cassandra
January 29, 1813

pp1stJane Austen’s “own darling Child” was, of course, the published Copy of Pride & Prejudice.  This is month is the 200th anniversary of its publication and a big month for Janeites.

On  January 27, 1813 Jane Austen, at Chawton,  received her first copy of Pride & Prejudice, sent by her brother Henry from London.  Henry also sent copies to Jane’s brothers Edward Austen Knight (in Godmersham) and Charles.  Once Jane received her copy, she immediately wrote to Henry and asked him to send c0pies to her brothers Frank and James and, along with her mother, began reading it aloud to a friend without revealing the author.

On January 28, publisher Tomas Egerton’s first advertisement for Pride & Prejudice appeared in the Morning Chronicle, detailing a novel in three volumes with a price of 18s.  There were possibly 1500 copies printed; this is not clear. The copyright remained with Egerton until 1841.

Sometime in early February, an anonymous review of Pride & Prejudice appeared in The British Critic, No. 41.   No doubt, Jane Austen noted and probably recorded this review.  She was assiduous in collecting reviews of her work both public and private.

We will see a lot of events, real and virtual, celebrating this anniversary.  Of Jane Austen’s six novels, Pride & Prejudice is, without a doubt, the most beloved.   This year, Jane Austen Societies around the globe will be organizing their annual meetings around Pride & Prejudice.  Already, books have been published on the topic, festivals are being planned, and the BBC intends to recreate the Netherfield ball.  Who can resist?

Will you be celebrating or do you celebrate Pride & Prejudice every year anyway?  What are you looking forward to?  And what do you think?  Is this Jane’s best work?

I just read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I found a lot of it spoke to me in terms of my own experience as an introvert. With the caveat that people are unique individuals and there are many other personality traits that affect behavior, also recognizing that introversion/extroversion is a spectrum (with some in the middle who are called “ambiverts”), Cain describes the strengths and weaknesses of introverts and extroverts and suggests ways they can learn from one another and work together more effectively.

Cain believes our culture currently undervalues introverts, with parents and teachers often pushing quieter children to be more outgoing, with open office spaces, an emphasis on group thinking, etc…  According to Cain, introverts are not necessarily shy (although some are). Nor are they antisocial. The real difference between introverts and extroverts is the level of stimulation each prefers. None of these are absolutes, but… Extroverts are more likely to enjoy large parties and are more comfortable meeting strangers; introverts prefer smaller, more intimate gatherings of good friends. Extroverts are better at multitasking while introverts excel at tasks requiring focused, solitary effort (like writing books).  Extroverts are more likely to be risk-takers while introverts are more likely to be the important voice of caution.
Cain says we need both and that each can learn from the other. Introverts can benefit from pushing themselves, especially in pursuit of a goal or cause important to them. Extroverts can benefit from learning to slow down and listen more.  But it is even more important that we learn to understand ourselves and work to our strengths, while appreciating that others may have different gifts.
If you’re not sure where you are on the introvert/extrovert spectrum, there’s a quiz you can take at
I came out strongly introvert, which was no surprise as much of this book resonates with me. I truly enjoy spending hours alone working on my stories.  Although I also enjoy stimulating situations like writers’ conferences and I’ve even managed to give the occasional workshop, these do take me out of my comfort zone. As Cain recommends, I take time to prepare and I also try to work in some quiet time to recharge between activities. I will get up half an hour early to swim if there is a hotel pool; otherwise I walk.
Cain writes that Western society tends to favor the extrovert, while in many Eastern cultures introversion is seen as a sign of wisdom, neither necessarily being right. Cain also writes that until fairly recently in history, character was considered more important than personality. This means that during the Regency, introversion might not have had the stigma it sometimes does now. I think there still must have been some tension between the personality types, though.

Cain talks about couples who come from different ends of the spectrum, saying they have challenges to overcome but can also find that their differences can balance each other in a good way.

I think Jane Austen had an intuitive grasp of this. Although there are many ways to look at Pride and Prejudice, the introvert/extrovert dynamic can be seen as contributing to the tension between Elizabeth and Darcy. Consider this conversation:

“Perhaps,” said Darcy, “I should have judged better had I sought an introduction; but I am ill qualified to recommend myself to strangers.”
“Shall we ask your cousin the reason of this?” said Elizabeth, still addressing Colonel Fitzwilliam.
“Shall we ask him why a man of sense and education, and who has lived in the world, is ill qualified to recommend himself to strangers?”
“I can answer your question,” said Fitzwilliam, “without applying to him. It is because he will not give himself the trouble.”
“I certainly have not the talent which some people possess,” said Darcy, “of conversing easily with those I have never seen before. I cannot catch their tone of conversation, or appear interested in their concerns, as I often see done.”
“My fingers,” said Elizabeth, “do not move over this instrument in the masterly manner which I see so many women’s do. They have not the same force or rapidity, and do not produce the same expression. But then I have always supposed it to be my own fault–because I would not take the trouble of practising. It is not that I do not believe my fingers as capable as any other woman’s of superior execution.”
Darcy smiled and said, “You are perfectly right. You have employed your time much better. No one admitted to the privilege of hearing you can think anything wanting. We neither of us perform to strangers.”

Elizabeth and the Colonel clearly don’t understand Darcy, but she does have a point in that he could try harder. And then consider this bit, as Elizabeth learns to appreciate Darcy.

She began now to comprehend that he was exactly the man who, in disposition and talents, would most suit her. His understanding and temper, though unlike her own, would have answered all her wishes. It was an union that must have been to the advantage of both; by her ease and liveliness, his mind might have been softened, his manners improved; and from his judgment, information, and knowledge of the world, she must have received benefit of greater importance.

If you’d like to know more about Quiet, check out Susan Cain’s TED Talk at

What do you think?  Did you take the quiz and if you don’t mind sharing, where did you fit? Any favorite stories that feature extrovert/introvert couples?
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By