Pride and Prejudice

It is the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice' being published. It has been acted on stage, in film, parodied, cartooned, used as a subject for and by painters and reprinted whoever knows how many times by countless publishers and is translated into everything short of other planets' languages. It is said to be the favourite book of readers in the UK, and no doubt in a few other places. Why and how?

I once picked it up and got very bored early on and looking up at the shelf where it stands in near on perfect condition although I bought it to travel with in the early 1970s doubt I shall ever continue from where I left off. I am not saying whether it is good or bad, it is just not the type of thing I like to read and given I have survived 'War and Peace', 'Brothers Karamazov' and umpteen other books people have said bore them to tears wonder why?

So people, let us see what people have to say about it. No holds barred of course.

Having spent time in Russia I found them to be the most 'spiritual' people I have ever met. Translations of Russian I have been told by Russians tend to lose this aspect as it is hard to impart, and the patronyms and diminutives can be laborious. I have read many recommended translations from my friend there, and they have been fascinating and enjoyable provided the spiritual aspects are factored in. NB I am not specifically talking religious when I say spiritual.

I read Fact books more than anything, but if you want (blokes) as great, fun reads and being very well researched you can't go past the beloved Flashman series!

Speaking of which does anyone else act like me as I read three books at a time? Usually two fact and one fiction*. Plus writing the big fact books and researching them seems to put me close to the excentric that some people insist I am.

*Currently a re-read of 'Russe by Edward Rutherford' (London is also Very Good) Fiction laid on fact a great mix for me. The 2-vol set of 'Fouché in French, and 'France 1814-1914 by Robert Tombs' are the reading, whilst my own preparations are 'Posters & Graphics - Non-Alcoholic Drinks' , 'A History of Propaganda' and a coffret with book, pamphlets, music, posters and much more with a Working title of 'Who Will Remember 100 years from Today' for the 100th Anniversary of the opening of World War One.

Defintely Clochemerle and the sequel 'Clochemerle Babylon'. If you can lay hands on a French copy of Clochemerle illustrated by Dubout you will find the easiest and most pleasurable way to start reading French books!

By the bye our local Abbé (neighbour and in his 80's) is a glorious and daily reminder of the book as he is Curé to the life!

Another bye the bye Dickens is pure Melodrama, and of his time, his strength is in the Character Portrayals which are brilliant.

I have to confess to being more drawn to sci-fi and fantasy than to period, romantic dramas but reading this thread reminded me that I'd never seen the ending of what looked like being a very promising, slightly time-travelling version of Pride & Prejudice, lead by the delightful Jemima Rooper and an excellent cast - so, whilst feeling under the weather today, it seemed like as good a time as any to put that right. So, if you fancy a version waaayy out on a limb but most entertaining, here's the link to "Lost in Austen":

Yes, my favourite topic, English classics! I must have read every single one of them and disliked just a few (The Scarlet letter was not one of my favourites, I think P&P is quite light reading and fun because of the ironic way of describing the life of that time). I have read some of the Russian authors (in English), I got through them, but got quite tired of the exclamatory, exaggerating way of saying things, haven't you had this feeling, Brian and others? (maybe this should have been adapted in the translation?)

I'm sure I'm right in thinking that P&P was based on an event in Jane Austen's life. She had an Irish suitor who later spurned her.

Yes and that is what makes them sometimes very good reading because of our natural 'nosiness' about the business of others - albeit embellished.

Aren't many novels embroidered autobiography?

@Hilary You could try Marcel Pagnol's"La gloire de mon père" and "Le château de ma mère" less well known than his "Manon des sources"and "Jean de Florette " but a lot funnier. Embroidered autobigraphy really.

Hobbit, Lord of the Rings does noting for me. Little men running up and down hills.

Recommendations? Any novel by Anne Tyler, Saturday and On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan.

I find Austen witty and sarcastic, her subject, as you put it, 'to catch a man' is still popular today. People still throw themselves recklessly into marriage, but in her time you could not escape from it later, so the choice of a partner could make or ruin your life, especially if you were a woman. When I took the Capes we had to read P&P which pleased me but not the other students and The Scarlet Letter by Hawthorne, which I detested but the others liked.

I've read and enjoyed all of them. I was made to read P&P as a teenager and did not like it because I did not want to like anything suggested by school, but some years later found I liked them.

I was obliged to read Pride and Prejudice while at university. It was painful. I remember it as a silly drawing room drama where a bunch of women flutter their eyelashes and natter on about how to catch a man. I couldn't get through it. I tried to appreciate the novel in its historical context, that is, when I wasn't busy rolling my eyes, my cigarette or the cuffs of my army pants (note: pretentious arts student costume in late 70s designed to convey leftist feminist sentiments). Dickens and Tolstoy were easier to read. I still wonder why Austen is so popular. Maybe for the same reason that soap operas are popular with some segment of the population. A few years ago a late night American TV show did a comedy sketch, a satire of another of Jane Austen's books made into a film. They called it Dense and Densibility.

I had 'Last Exit To Brooklyn' confiscated by my form tutor when was in the 6th Form. The last laugh was on me. I was able to produce my Eng.Lits teacher's reading list that included the novel.

I did Eng Lit at O and A level and also swore never to look at a classic again. It took years! Kim, I have a complete Shakespeare now, but that also took many years of recovery. It's not the books, it was the way they 'rammed them down our throats' until we could stand no more. I had a copy of Kerouac's 'On the Road' confiscated and a 100 lines (which I did not do) for having it. So just had to rebel.

My dad made us read all the classics when we were very young, luckily it didn't put me off reading! I am in the process of re-reading them all. We did Shakespeare at school, now that did put me off!

Agree. With knobs on!

I think schools have a lot to answer for in putting people off reading the classics. We had to read a book by one of the more obscure Bronte sisters, Anne? I never read another classic until I was in my thirties and I started on Trollope who I love.

Did it for O-level. Hated it ever since.

Hi all, I read it over Christmas for the second time (last time I was about 12 and it was hard work),this time I thoroughly enjoyed it. I read it on my tablet via Kindle app, which means you can look up out-of-date words that you don't know the meaning of as you read. I have since read Sense and Sensibility and I am now reading Mansfield Park by Jane Austin. I bought a full set of her books (electronic) for 99c. I thought I might find it tedious reading so many of the same authors books one after another, but I haven't. Anyone else read a number of Jane Austins books? Which is your favourite?