The library, and step on it!


"More than once did Elizabeth in her ramble within the Park unexpectedly meet Mr Darcy. She felt all the perverseness of the mischance that should bring him where no one else was brought; and to prevent its ever happening again, took care to inform him at first, that it was a favourite haunt of hers. How it could occur a second time therefore was very odd! - Yet it did, and even a third. It seemed like wilful ill-nature, or a voluntary penance, for on these occasions it was not merely a few formal enquiries and an awkward pause and then away, but he actually thought it necessary to turn back and walk with her."
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen.
posted 3 weeks ago with 71 notes

"'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.’"
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen.
posted 3 weeks ago with 41 notes

"Mr Darcy drew his chair a little towards her, and said, ‘You cannot have a right to such very strong local attachment. You cannot have been always at Longbourn.’
Elizabeth looked surprised. The gentleman experienced some change of feeling; he drew back his chair, took a newspaper from the table, and, glancing over it, said, in a colder voice, ‘Are you pleased with Kent?’"

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen.

posted 3 weeks ago with 51 notes

"[Elizabeth] said to Colonel Fitzwilliam, ‘Your cousin will give you a very pretty notion of me, and teach you not to believe a word I say. I am particularly unlucky in meeting with a person so well able to expose my real character, in a part of the world, where I had hoped to pass myself off with some degree of credit. Indeed, Mr Darcy, it is very ungenerous of you to mention all that you knew to my disadvantage in Hertfordshire - and, give me leave to say, very impolite too - for it is provoking me to retaliate, and such things may come out, as will shock your relations to hear.’
‘I am not afraid of you,’ said he, smilingly."
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen.
posted 3 weeks ago with 20 notes

"Elizabeth at first wondered that Charlotte should not prefer the dining-parlour for common use; it was a better sized room, and had a pleasanter aspect; but she soon saw that her friend had an excellent reason for what she did, for Mr Collins would undoubtedly have been much less in his own apartment, had they sat in one equally lively; and she gave Charlotte credit for the arrangement."

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen.

Oh Charlotte.

posted 3 weeks ago with 13 notes

"'So, Lizzy,' said [Mr Bennet] one day, 'your sister is crossed in love I find. I congratulate her. Next to being married, a girl likes to be crossed in love a little now and then. It is something to think of, and gives her a sort of distinction among her companions. When is your turn to come? You will hardly bear to be long outdone by Jane. Now is your time. Here are officers enough at Meryton to disappoint all the young ladies in the country. Let Wickham be your man. He is a pleasant fellow, and would jilt you creditably.’
‘Thank you, sir, but a less agreeable man would satisfy me. We must not all expect Jane’s good fortune.’
‘True,’ said Mr Bennet, ‘but it is a comfort to think that, whatever of that kind may befall you, you have an affectionate mother who will always make the most of it.’"
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen.
posted 1 month ago with 39 notes

"'I see what you are feeling,' replied Charlotte, 'you must be surprised, very much surprised - so lately as Mr Collins was wishing to marry you. But when you have had time to think it all over, I hope you will be satisfied with what I have done. I am not romantic you know. I never was. I ask only a comfortable hom; and considering Mr Collins's character, connections, and situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness is as fair, as most people can board on entering the marriage state.'
Elizabeth quietly answered ‘Undoubtedly.’ - and after an awkward pause, they returned to the rest of the family."
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen.
posted 1 month ago with 11 notes

"Mrs Bennet rang the bell, and Miss Elizabeth was summoned to the library.
‘Come here, child,’ cried her father as she appeared. ‘I have sent for you on an affair of importance. I understand that Mr Collins has made you an offer of marriage. Is it true?’ Elizabeth replied that it was.
‘Very well - and this offer of marriage you have refused?’
‘I have, sir.’
‘Very well. We now come to the point. Your mother insists upon your accepting it. Is not it so, Mrs Bennet?’
‘Yes, or I will never see her again.’
‘An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.’"
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen.
posted 1 month ago with 69 notes

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.Book Review by the-library-and-step-on-it.

For my sixteen-year old self, Pride and Prejudice was an eye-opening read: it was the first “old” book I read and loved and became my literary gateway drug to other “old books,” which would eventually led to a lifelong obsession with Victorian literature (the bigger the better). Over the years, I have collected a fair bit of Austen merchandise, ranging from a necklace to great number of DVDs, and rereading the book now, almost ten years after I first read it, I was immediately sucked back in by Austen’s writing. The dialogues are witty, the emotions genuine, and I feel like I could still bump into these characters at a contemporary dinner party MR BINGLEY CALL ME. The world Austen has created feels real and has a timeless quality that allows a contemporary audience to connect with it. However, there has to be more to this book than just clever writing or a relatable love story. There have been many fantastic novelists, but few have such a dedicated following and enduring legacy as Austen. What is so special about her?
In her book Jane’s Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered The World, Claire Harman has tried to find an answer to this very question. One of the explanations she offers is that Austen’s novels allow for escapism. The stakes of Pride and Prejudice are relatively low: no politics, no deaths, and a fairly limited scope. The reader can immerse him-/herself in the story and forget his/her own problems. Harman explains that in WWI, for example, many soldiers used to read Jane Austen in the trenches to take their mind off the war. Winston Churchill was a fan of Austen’s work for similar reasons; Harman cites a passage from Churchill’s memoir where he recounts reading Pride and Prejudice for the first time in 1943:

What calm lives they had, those people! No worries about the French Revolution, or the crashing struggle of the Napoleonic wars. Only manners controlling natural passion so far as they could, together with cultured explanations of any mischances.

I do believe that there is something to be said for the importance of nostalgia in the canonisation of Austen’s work. Poverty, wars, slavery, they are all only just visible in the periphery of her novels. It is very tempting to think of this world as a simpler one, “the good old days” when manners mattered. This explains why many Austen spin-offs have a modern-day character travel to that world and why there are festivals where people dress up and recreate a Georgian ball. However, my favourite spin-off stories are the ones where the Austen fan realises that this world was just as complicated as her own, that life is messy, and even though it can be nice to occasionally indulge in a fantasy, it’s important to be aware that this is a distorted version of reality. In Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler, the main character is transported into Regency England and is shocked to find that women were locked away in their room for days when they were menstruating. In Alexandra Potter’s Me and Mr Darcy, the heroine has to conclude that Darcy’s views on women’s rights are a dealbreaker.
My advice: go ahead and buy that Mr Darcy keychain, watch that four-hundredth movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, lovingly refer to Austen as “Jane” if you want to, but also remember to read critically and to keep asking questions. After all, Austen teaches her heroine the importance of keeping both feet on the ground and using one’s common sense. It is a timeless piece of advice and I hope it will endure as long as the popularity of Pride and Prejudice itself.
Find more reviews here.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Book Review by the-library-and-step-on-it.

For my sixteen-year old self, Pride and Prejudice was an eye-opening read: it was the first “old” book I read and loved and became my literary gateway drug to other “old books,” which would eventually led to a lifelong obsession with Victorian literature (the bigger the better). Over the years, I have collected a fair bit of Austen merchandise, ranging from a necklace to great number of DVDs, and rereading the book now, almost ten years after I first read it, I was immediately sucked back in by Austen’s writing. The dialogues are witty, the emotions genuine, and I feel like I could still bump into these characters at a contemporary dinner party MR BINGLEY CALL ME. The world Austen has created feels real and has a timeless quality that allows a contemporary audience to connect with it. However, there has to be more to this book than just clever writing or a relatable love story. There have been many fantastic novelists, but few have such a dedicated following and enduring legacy as Austen. What is so special about her?

In her book Jane’s Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered The World, Claire Harman has tried to find an answer to this very question. One of the explanations she offers is that Austen’s novels allow for escapism. The stakes of Pride and Prejudice are relatively low: no politics, no deaths, and a fairly limited scope. The reader can immerse him-/herself in the story and forget his/her own problems. Harman explains that in WWI, for example, many soldiers used to read Jane Austen in the trenches to take their mind off the war. Winston Churchill was a fan of Austen’s work for similar reasons; Harman cites a passage from Churchill’s memoir where he recounts reading Pride and Prejudice for the first time in 1943:

What calm lives they had, those people! No worries about the French Revolution, or the crashing struggle of the Napoleonic wars. Only manners controlling natural passion so far as they could, together with cultured explanations of any mischances.

I do believe that there is something to be said for the importance of nostalgia in the canonisation of Austen’s work. Poverty, wars, slavery, they are all only just visible in the periphery of her novels. It is very tempting to think of this world as a simpler one, “the good old days” when manners mattered. This explains why many Austen spin-offs have a modern-day character travel to that world and why there are festivals where people dress up and recreate a Georgian ball. However, my favourite spin-off stories are the ones where the Austen fan realises that this world was just as complicated as her own, that life is messy, and even though it can be nice to occasionally indulge in a fantasy, it’s important to be aware that this is a distorted version of reality. In Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler, the main character is transported into Regency England and is shocked to find that women were locked away in their room for days when they were menstruating. In Alexandra Potter’s Me and Mr Darcy, the heroine has to conclude that Darcy’s views on women’s rights are a dealbreaker.

My advice: go ahead and buy that Mr Darcy keychain, watch that four-hundredth movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, lovingly refer to Austen as “Jane” if you want to, but also remember to read critically and to keep asking questions. After all, Austen teaches her heroine the importance of keeping both feet on the ground and using one’s common sense. It is a timeless piece of advice and I hope it will endure as long as the popularity of Pride and Prejudice itself.

Find more reviews here.

posted 1 month ago with 35 notes