My month of Pride & Prejudice

(Including two mini book reviews and a lot of mixed movie gifs.)

Hi! I haven’t blogged since December 8, and that has a lot to do with the fact that I fell head first into a Pride and Prejudice hole this month, and had zero interest in getting out of it. I’m not sorry.

I love Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice was my first Austen, and remains tied (with Persuasion) as my favorite Austen. I have been entertained by the ladies at Drunk Austen for a couple of years now, and decided to follow along with their #25days of Pride and Prejudice this year. I watched one episode of the 1995 miniseries every day from December 1 through December 24. For those keeping score at home, that’s 4 complete trips through the miniseries. That’s a lot of curtsies, a lot of bonnets, a lot of broody Darcy and delightful Lizzie, a lot of Lydia and a whole lot of Mr. Collins.

Here’s the thing though—while I most certainly did start to curse at Wickham, Lydia, and Collins, I never got tired of watching. I never had to force myself to watch it, and found myself looking forward to that hour of my day. As an added bonus, my 8-year-old son, who watched with me most nights, got really good at his Mrs. Bennet impersonation.

I had watched the miniseries before, but now I have a greater appreciation for just how faithful it is to the book and how wonderful the cast was. I adore Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth, fangirled like crazy over Colin Firth’s exposed neck every chance I got, and could watch Lizzie and Darcy make heart eyes at each other over the piano forte forever.

Actual 😍

On Christmas Day, rather than binging the whole miniseries like our fabulous hostess, I chose to watch the 2005 movie. This was mainly because of time issues (we had to go see Star Wars after Christmas brunch!), but also because I freaking love the movie, and as much as I adore Colin Firth’s wet Darcy, Matthew MacFadyen is my favorite wet Darcy. I mean, come on:

As if enjoying the miniseries and 25 days of brilliant, funny blogs from Drunk Austen wasn’t enough, I was ecstatic on Christmas night when I opened the Day 25 blog to find that I had won the gosh darn Janeite lottery. Friends, I won Drunk Austen’s giveaway prize for Jane’s birthday, and I am so. freaking. excited.

SO happy!

While I am pleased to report I have resisted the urge to watch more P&P for 4 days running, I’m not going to lie and say I’m not having some withdrawal symptoms. As is most generally the case… books to the rescue!

This is just as ridiculously funny as it looks.

Because Litsy friends are the coolest friends, I got quite a bit of Austen swag as Christmas gifts this year. One of the books I received was Darcy Swipes Left by Courtney Carbone. This book was made for people like me. It’s basically the whole story of P&P, told in text messages and social media posts by the characters. It’s a quick, clever read that I had finished within 24 hours of opening the gift. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Just imagine Mrs. Bennet, Lydia, and Collins having access to social media. Hilarity like this ensues:

Before I could start to ponder what to do with my time without Pride and a Prejudice, a library hold came in the allowed me to continue to dwell in Austen land:

The Clergyman’s Wife by Molly Greeley is a continuation of Pride and Prejudice from the perspective of our dear Charlotte. Greeley does an excellent job capturing the general feeling and humor of an Austen novel, and I love the added depth to Charlotte’s character. Mr. Collins and Lady Catherine are just as annoying as ever and a little glimpse of Lizzie and Darcy post-marriage had me starstruck.

The ending is sad, but it really couldn’t end any other way and be true to Austen. I’ve tried a lot of Austenesque books with very mixed results, and I was so pleased with this one. I’m looking forward to more from this author. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I recommend both of these books to my fellow Austen fans. If you have any recommendations for good Austenish books, please leave them in the comments. I’m not sure I will be out of this current period of Austen enthusiasm for a while yet, and I may need the material.

Until next time,

World Without End by Ken Follett actually does have an end!

I didn’t time the reading of my challenge books very well this year… I don’t have many books left for my various 2019 reading challenges, but I saved some serious chunksters for December.

Case in point: I was still listening to this 46+ hour audiobook less than a day before my library hold ended, and now I’m racing the Libby app to listen to Don Quixote (36+ hours) before that hold ends. I definitely prefer audio for really big books.

I loved Pillars of the Earth, and I really enjoyed returning to Kingsbridge 200 years later in World Without End. This epic saga takes us through the lives of some of the descendants of the Pillars characters, with a bit less cathedral building and architecture, continuing religious and political intrigue, and the addition of lots and lots of The Plague. 😬

What I love the most about this series is the richness of the characters. The heroes and heroines are not without flaws, and the villains are most villainous but not without traits that made me sympathize for them (just a little bit). I love Caris so much: she’s a woman way ahead of her times, smart and driven. Gwenda, Merthin, Phillipa, and Sir Thomas are great characters. Ralph, Godwyn, and Philemon are deliciously despicable characters that make me feel perfectly ok about rooting for their total demise.

Even among all the big events in these books (and there are plenty of those), Ken Follett is gifted at putting the reader right into day-to-day life for peasants, merchants, nobles, nuns and monks in medieval England. The historical research that he has clearly invested in writing these books makes for an immersive reading experience. This book is long, but it’s definitely not a slog. On the contrary, I found myself fascinated and invested throughout, and was sort of sad when I arrived at the end, much like I felt at the end of Pillars.

I’ve seen mixed reviews about the third book in this series, but I am sure I will at least give it a try. Someday… when I’m not hyper-focused on finishing four yearly challenges before the end of the month. 😂