Pride and Prejudice: a review. It is a truth universally acknowledged (that this book is great).


Over the last year, I have read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice an obscene amount of times. Without a doubt, it is my favourite literary classic of all time; I fell ardently in love with it as soon as I picked it up for it’s modern, fresh feel, sublime characterisation and delightful interpretation of the romance novel genre.


Jane Austen is famed for her fierce female characters and, don’t get me wrong, Lizzie is among my top ten sassiest women in literature. However, I think it would be a tragedy not to mention Mr Darcy and his character arc. At the beginning of the novel, we see an arrogant proud man who finds our poor Lizzie only “tolerable”, but by the end of the novel he has made a change for the better. And who would have thought it would all be down to Lizzie!


What I like about this book is that Elizabeth Bennet’s role is so much more than “damsel-in-distress” or “obligatory beautiful woman”. On the contrary! Our Lizzie is a feminist icon, all the way from the 1800s! This is something I love about all of Jane Austen’s work, not only Pride and Prejudice: she was never afraid to say what she thought. Honestly, it’s quite refreshing.


Speaking of breaking from the norm, Pride and Prejudice isn’t your traditional romance novel. In fact, at the beginning, the two main characters despise the thought of each other – but hear me out. At the conclusion, Darcy overcomes his hatred of Miss Bennet’s societal inferiority and Lizzie forgives his slight on her widely acknowledged beauty so that they can live happily ever after. The end.


What I’m trying to say is that, despite being from the 19th century, Pride and Prejudice is an incredibly modern and relevant story with incredibly modern and relevant themes. If you haven’t read it, I strongly recommend giving it a go, or even (Shock! Horror!) watching the film! Now excuse me while I start reading the book again. I’m going for a record.


By Yve Ward (Year 11)

Image courtesy of Elaine Howlin

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