Year of Revisiting #3 — Pride and Prejudice
“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”
I spent January down a delightful Pride and Prejudice rabbit hole.
I had intended to re-read at least one Jane Austen. It had been a long while since I had re-visited this most famous classic, and I selected the e-audio edition, performed by Emilia Fox, who played Georgiana Darcy in the BBC miniseries.
I often listened before leaving for work, and it made getting out of bed on cold mornings more palatable. The story was as wonderful and engrossing as I remembered. I was struck over again by how impressively smart and true Austen’s writing remains. What is not to like about this astoundingly intelligent, romantic, and hilarious book? I continue to be floored by how cleverly observant she is, how she is able to capture people and the social mores they live under with both clarity and subtlety.
Some days after starting the audio, I decided I might as well re-watch the 2005 Keira Knightley movie. Critics complain that this version isn’t Austen; it’s “Bronte-fied.” I suppose they’re correct, but who cares? Austen mixed with just about anything is still wonderful. (See Bridget Jones, Clueless, etc.)
When I finished with Kiera, I figured that it’s been about a decade since I’d seen the BBC show (the wet shirt one) in its entirety, so might as well give that a go. It didn’t take me more than a day or two to get through all six hours of Jennifer Ehle laughing and Colin Firth smoldering into love with one another.
And when that was done, I decided I need to make the quintet complete by re-watching the Greer Garson movie. Laurence Olivier! He’s by far the most playful and fun Darcy in this 1940 version, which departs the most from the original story but is thoroughly enjoyable. I had an extra satisfaction, Googling the film, in noting that not only was Garson as Elizabeth around 36 when it was filmed, but also she was older than Olivier. I think wicked Jane would approve.
So I have been saturated with Bennets and Darcys and Bingleys, and it has been divine, and I’m a little sorry to see them all go back into literature-land.