Tuesday, January 26, 2010

First Impressions on Reading Pride and Prejudice and Some Persuasion Love

I should be ashamed. I considered myself a very dedicated romance reader, but have never read a Jane Austen novel, including Pride and Prejudice. I've seen almost every Austen book come alive on screen and won't go into detail on the amount of times I've watched Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion.

So, I've decided to nip this in the bud and started reading Pride and Prejudice.

I'm half way through and all I can say is that Austen has a wonderful way with dialogue, so much so that she barely has any descriptive scenes or settings. This doesn't really bother me as because I can envision every scene so perfectly because of Austen's words. I also have a new respect for Darcy and found something that hasn't come across in the many of the screen versions I've watched. One specific thing that has been missing from page to screen, is in regards to Darcy's "regard" of Elizabeth. I always felt when Darcy first meets Elizabeth he really doesn't care for her because he is a snob. But, as he comes to knows her and sees her in a new light, his opinion and feelings changes to respect and then love.

From reading Pride and Prejudice, that's not the case. My long lasting opinion for Darcy has changed drastically. When Darcy first makes Elizabeth's acquaintance, he does look down upon her, but is also smitten, mainly because he adores her wonderful eyes. Darcy cannot get Elizabeth's eyes out of his mind and can't understand why he finds her so appealing when everything about her confuses him. She is beneath him because of her social status and crazy family. But, Darcy is so confounded to the point that he wants to be around Elizabeth all the time and because this simply cannot be, he forcible removes himself from her presence, for fear he will ask for her hand in marriage. He's practically obsessed with Miss Bennet. His suffering is very funny. His internal turmoil over his feelings for Elizabeth is in a word- adorable.

I never thought of Darcy being adorable before. From seeing Colin Firth and then Matthew Macfadyen play Darcy, I've always felt that the character was stiff, cold and aloof. This sudden "Aha" moment I've had with the Darcy character from the novel has made my reading so much more enjoyable.

I hope to finish reading Pride and Prejudice by the end of this week and post my overall opinions of my Austen reading experience. I've decided my next classic novel to tackle will be another one of her novels, Persuasion.

My love for Persuasion is up there with Pride and Prejudice. (mind you, this is going by what I've watched on screen) Over at Pop Culture Divas, Julia Smith has posted her top 10 ten romantic films, and one of them is the 1995 movie Persuasion. She found a fan made video highlighting the important parts from the movie and after watching it, I can say that my devotion for Jane Austen continues to grow.

If you haven't watched Persuasion, I urge you to do. CiarĂ¡n Hinds playing Captain Frederick Wentworth is just as excellent as Colin Firth and Matthew Macfadyen playing Mr. Darcy.



jmc said...

I may have blogged one or two (dozen) times about my unhealthy love for Persuasion :) Thanks for sharing that fan video!

AnimeJune said...

Darcy is considered the ancestor of the Cold Hero who secretly yearns for the heroine even though he doesn't understand why - and yet treats her like crap in person.

I loooooove Persuasion - but not the Ciaran Hinds version, oh no. The Sally Hawkins-Rupert Penry-Jones version is THE most romantic Austen adaptation I've ever watched.

Anna said...

I just got around to reading Pride and Prejudice last year, so don't feel too bad. :)

Booklover1335 said...

When I was younger I loved Pride and Prejudice, but as I get older I love Persuasion more than I initially did. And the movie version you good. It's one of my favs.

Tracy said...

I've started those 2 books a million times and have never gotten through them. I know, I suck. lol.

Reading Persuasion for one of my DIK reading challenge books is a good idea - that way I'll HAVE to finish it. :)

Kwana said...

We must be thinking alike. I'm currently reading Pride and Prejudice too. I'm determined to be part of the club and not just the movie club.

I too love that version of Persuasion. So good.

Tia - Debuts & Reviews said...

I haven't watched that particular Persuasion, and now I MUST HAVE IT! And I haven't even watched the clip you posted yet. Simply the fact that it exists means that I must find it.

Please, please put up a post when you've read Darcy's letter. That was the moment when I fell in love with him, and I'd love to read your reaction. I am going to subscribe to your blog right this minute so I don't miss it.

And you MUST read Northanger Abbey as well!

The Queen B said...

I read Emma years ago and didn't love it. You have now convinced me to read P&P.
Oh, and I heart you ;)

Magdalen said...

I loved listening to P&P and am happy that the DH dropped a hint that I might be getting another one on CD for my birthday.

I saw the Ciaran Hinds version of Persuasion with my mother (the small number of films I saw with my mother are all a little bit more special because of her). What I remember most -- of all the many things to love about that film -- is how artful the casting was for Anne Elliot and her family. They actually look like relatives; they all have the same lovely round eyes!

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

jmc: Anytime :)

AnimeJune: I would say that is a pretty accurate description of what Darcy is going through. The latest version was from the remake they did for the Austen fest on PBS? I watched that one also and the ending made me want to cry. Beautiful.

Anna: High five for both of us! LOL

Booklover: I think there are more long aching stares in Persuasion than in P&P. Love those stares. *swoon*

Tracy: Join me in my classical reading challenge! MUAH

Kwana: Me too! Now I should have done this as a reading challenge. 2010 the year of Austen?

Tia: Thanks for stopping by. will make sure to report all the great parts, especially my favorite lines. Every time Darcy mentions Elizabeth's eyes, I sigh.

Queen B: I heart you also. Hee.

Magdalen: What is it with the eyes? LOL

orannia said...

I only read Pride & Prejudice the year the Keira Knightley movie version was released...which wasn't too long ago. And I still haven't seen Persuasion. I wonder if the library has it...

I hope you enjoy the 2nd half as much of the 1st KB!

D.L. said...

I just finished watching the P&P mini series earlier tonight before reading this...

P&P is the only one I've read (and loved!) but I've seen movie/TV adaptations for all the others. I'm not a fan of Emma or Mansfield Park, but can't get enough of any of the others.

Can't wait to hear your thoughts on the rest of the book.

Renee said...

Like Booklover1335, the older I get the more Persuasion is my favorite Austen. It's much quieter and more reflective than P&P, but also has a letter scene that just slays me.

Serena said...

I love P&P! I'm going to be reading Persuasion for the first time this year!

Mandi said...

I love Persuasion! And P&P..I should do a reread...le sigh.

SarahT said...

I had to laugh when reading your post as it's particularly timely. I just received a delivery of five BBC period dramas on DVD. I've seen some of them before, but two are new.

They are:

'Pride & Prejudice' - Colin Firth
'North & South'
'Bleak House'
'Wives & Daughters'
'Emma' - New BBC production

I've seen 'P&P' umpteen times but only had it on VHS. It was time to get it on DVD! I also love 'North & South' and 'Bleak House'.

I haven't seen 'Wives & Daughters' yet, nor the new production of 'Emma'.

I hope you enjoy the book of 'P&P'!

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

SarahT: You've never seen North and South? You are going to be swooning and won't stop watching until he very end. And don't get me started on Richard A! he really puts Firth to shame. OMG beautiful man.

Bleak House is very slow moving and dark. Jillian Anderson from the X-files is superb.

Victoria Janssen said...

Most of the time, PERSUASION is my favorite Austen novel. But sometimes it's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.

I'm so glad you're enjoying P&P! It also rewards re-reads. Hmmm, I wonder if it's too soon for me to re-read?

JenB said...

I've been listening to the P&P audiobook for the past week, and I was thinking the opposite about her dialogue--there's not enough of it. So much tell, so little show. And sooooooooo wordy.

I don't love it.

But I did love the 2005 movie. YUM!

Tumperkin said...

I love Ciaran Hinds, especially in that production.

heidenkind said...

Uh-oh, it sounds like another Austen fangirl has been created. :) I'm so happy you're enjoying P&P, KB! Can't wait for your review. And just on a side note, I don't think any actor has truly done justice to Darcy's character. I do love Colin Firth, but to be honest he didn't behave the way I pictured Darcy from the book at all.