It is an annual ritual – the trigger usually is the movie which leads me back to the book – my absolute favourite Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen!
I have read Pride and Prejudice atleast hundred times, and every time I pick it up again it reads like new. Over last few years, I have read it on Kindle or iBooks app, but this year I went back to the physical book.
The story set in pre-Victorian England is very similar to what would have been true even in India that time – getting their daughters married to eligible bachelors. One cannot get enough of the novel’s opening sentence – it is one of the most talked about and recognised statement of any book.
The narrative is not set in a major town, the book describes the daily lives led by its many characters and also special events in vivid detail and yet familiar ways of life. I am reminded of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple of how she understands human nature by observing life around her in village – that’s the beauty of human nature, we do tend to behave in similar fashion in similar circumstances irrespective of country, religion or creed. And that’s why the emotions and feelings in characters of Shakespeare still remain so relevant even after 400 years since he wrote of them.
The English language of yesteryears is not easy to comprehend and one needs to sit with a dictionary to understand all difficult and not commonly used words. But this is not a deterrent to the storyline which has comedy and satire inherent in its story-telling.
I probably read Pride and Prejudice first in the long summer vacations post Class X board exams – there was enough time to read and savour each book – I also read Vikram Seth’s magnum opus A Suitable Boy at the same time 😉
This book is one of my first hard-bound books – I had loved the book so much that I insisted on it. We had to wait for it for few years till we found it – it’s an imported edition printed by Wordsworth Editions. Inspite of almost 300 closely printed pages, this hardbound edition is light to hold, and quality of paper so good that it’s a delight to turn the pages. Gifted by my mother with an emotional message, it still is a prized possession on my book shelf even after two decades of buying and owning more books.
Going back to the story, read it – you will love it!
I read this just about every year too! Along with Little Women and Persuasion 🙂