Saturday, May 23, 2015

What I Read in January Part V . . .

What I Read in January Part V . . .

Celebrating Pride and Prejudice: 200 Years of Jane Austen's MasterpieceCelebrating Pride and Prejudice: 200 Years of Jane Austen's Masterpiece by Susannah Fullerton-- Austenesque

The author takes an in-depth look at all aspects of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen's most famous novel. Chapters discuss the writing of the novel; reactions to the book; the style of Pride and Prejudice; chapters on the characters; the translations, and more modern topics such as the sequels, retellings, etc. and the branding of Jane Austen. There is even a chapter dedicated to the first sentence.

I liked the beginning of the book where the author discusses the actual novel and how it came to be. I also liked the literary explanations on the style and the characters. It caused me to think more about certain characters and how I feel about them. I enjoyed learning about the translations, especially since I just read a novel in which the French first edition makes an appearance. The section on the book covers was very interesting. Everyone has their own idea of what the characters are supposed to look like and some publishers ignore the characters and make the covers appeal to a certain readership. I enjoyed the breakdown of the sequels and adaptations. It will help me decide which, if any, I want to read next, though she omits some. I know which ones I do NOT want to read and that's important.

Then the book started to lose me when the author discussed the film and TV adaptations. She inserted her own prejudices and opinions in her summaries and I wish she had left the subjective out and let the reader decide. Everyone has their own favorite version. I felt like she was too biased and didn't appreciate the somewhat condescending tone of the writing. I happen to enjoy the BBC/A&E version by Andrew Davies. I've never seen the 1980s version and I don't think I'd like it because I enjoy watching newer BBC adaptations that are more cinematic than theatrical.

The discussion on Selling Pride and Prejudice and the last chapter on Pride and Prejudice now and in the future felt a bit redundant. I already read Among the Janeites by Deborah Yaffe and watched the documentary The Many Lovers of Jane Austen (look it up on YouTube). This was more of the same.

My favorite part was all the amazing pictures, especially ones from Jane Austen's lifetime and the early illustrated editions of the novel.

If you are new to Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice is your favorite novel, I suggest this is a good place to start learning more.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave comments and or suggestions for QNPoohBear, the modern bluestocking.