Happy 200th, Pride and Prejudice!
It’s here, finally! The 200th Anniversary of Pride and Prejudice! Welcome to the hop! Please be sure to click through to read the posts from each of our participating bloggers. Thank you so much to Courtney Webb at Stiletto Storytime for co-hosting this hop with me! I hope you all enjoy a wonderful time celebrating Jane and P&P!
I admit, it feels slightly odd not to be writing this note on pretty stationery, with an elegant fountain pen, but some things have changed. Handwritten letters have become almost obsolete, and in their place we have emails. There are those who believe capital letters and punctuation are no longer necessary either—would you believe that punctuation marks are now used to create sideways smiley faces called emoticons. I much prefer punctuation as it was originally intended, but the smiley faces do help to set the mood for an abrupt three word email.
Anyway, I digress. We are celebrating 200 years of Pride and Prejudice goodness! Think of all the romantic souls you’ve touched, all the Darcy crushes you’ve inspired, all the fan fiction you’ve prompted, and the cottage industry you’ve launched! Simply magnificent! I wonder if you knew when you conjured the character of Fitzwilliam Darcy that he would become the brooding hero that launched a thousand spin-offs? Or that we’d all aspire to be Elizabeth Bennet in online quizzes… (No, of course you didn’t.) I hope you’re impressed with yourself!
I first read THE GREAT BRITISH NOVEL in high school British Literature. I then read it again in college for one of a token few required liberal arts classes. I adored it both times. It wasn’t until just last year, however, that I had the pleasure of seeing Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth lead a truly stellar adaptation of the novel. I now feel, officially, in the fan club. Great to be here!
It’s interesting to me that Pride and Prejudice began as an epistolary novel, originally titled First Impressions. Imagine if you were to write this novel now, in the age of emails and acronyms and emoticons. Not to mention texts and Twitter. I wonder how different it would be.
“She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me; and I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me.”
we might have something like this exchange of texts:
Bingley: Her? Behind you. Pretty. Seems nice enough. 😛
Darcy: If she were pretty, she’d be dancing.
Bingley: Stuff it—ask her! <3
Darcy: I will not! Playing WWF with Caroline.
Perhaps instead of overhearing Darcy’s unflattering remarks at the Meryton Assembly, Elizabeth gets the entire conversation “accidentally” forwarded to her when Caroline hijacks her brother’s phone. (Darcy would naturally not stoop to emoticons. And WWF is Words With Friends, not World Wrestling Federation, although that might be humorous…)
The literary landscape simply wouldn’t be the same… Pride and Prejudice remains a beloved classic even amid today’s technological bustle—for countless worthy reasons far too numerous to list here. So today we celebrate you and your magnificent accomplishment, Jane! If your spirit is lingering—and I truly hope it is—I hope you have found a Mr. Darcy of your very own.
**Please see the post below for the list of participating bloggers. I couldn’t get the list to repost…
A letter from Cassie Grafton:
I fell in love with Mr Darcy when I was 15. Like you, I was set the book for an English Literature examination, and once I had read it, I headed straight to the local library to seek out all her other work. Having read everything I could lay my hands on (the six novels, the fragments, finished versions of Sanditon etc), I turned to reading about Jane Austen and her life, something I continue to do to this day.
Though sometimes Persuasion does vie with it for my favourite read, P&P usually seems to come out on top. With its sparkling heroine and wonderful hero, its cast of characters and Jane Austen’s wonderful wit, it claimed a place in my heart all those years ago that cannot be dislodged.
Over more recent years, to have discovered the online Jane Austen community, followed by all the wonderful authors and works that carry forward the legacy of Darcy and his Elizabeth, has been one of the most rewarding things of my life.
Thank you to all those who continue to keep these wonderful characters alive, and a special thank you to all of you who have these amazing Blogs where there is always a place to come and escape from the world, to read and indulge our imaginations and passion for such well-loved characters.
A letter from Rita Abrams:
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen’s timelessly precious gift-that-keeps-on-giving will continue to delight and inspire the world for as long as there is a world. The story will soar on, beyond every form of media we humans can devise–which is why author Josie Brown and I were moved to make a musical of it, a humbling experience which demanded of us the best, and then some. While others have tweaked, twisted and revised the tale to make it theirs, we aspired to keep it authentic, as if Jane herself decided to add songs. And the sweet audiences at our Ruislip Operatic Society, UK world premiere in November seemed to approve. Happy Anniversary, Jane, and thank you from the bottom of our millions and millions of hearts.
A letter from Monica Perry:
Thank you, Alyssa and Courtney, for putting the hop together and I look forward to everyone’s tributes. I hope Miss Jane is looking down on us and smiling, and partying like it’s 1813 again!
I fell in love with P&P only a few years ago but I’ve learned so much from it. I’ve never been much of a ‘fandom’ kind of girl, or even a lover of the ‘classics’. If someone had told me in high school that one day I would be this obsessed with and engrossed in Jane Austen’s novels and Austenesque fiction, I’d have responded with a very inelegant “PFFT! Yeah, sure.” I love the characters, who are so ordinary, yet so complex that, as Lizzy would say, there is always something new to be discovered in them. They truly are timeless. I love Jane’s sense of humor and her remarkable wisdom about human nature. And I love that she has inspired so many others to write wonderful stories which bring all of us lovely obsessed Janeites together. Thank you Miss Jane, and here’s to another 200+ years of celebration.