Those are some of the most famous words in all of literature. If you don’t know, that quote is the brilliant opening line to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The book is a classic and is still read and relevant today. It’s story is well-known, especially because of the multiple movies based on the book. I saw the movie for the first time just within the last year (the Kiera Knightly version in case you were wondering) and I fell in love with the story and the characters. So when it came time in AP English to pick authors for our term paper, I had an easy decision to make: I would read Jane Austen’s work for the first time.
I started out with Pride and Prejudice because I already knew its story. Knowing the plot helped me get through it, for Austen’s work can be quite difficult to focus on. It is not hard or boring to read, it just requires a lot of attention. But as I read I found myself thinking “Oh, I can’t wait to see what she thinks when I get to this part.” It fascinated me to really be inside Lizzie’s head at times, and at others, inside Darcy’s as well. The writing is eloquent and beautiful and I only wish people still talked the way they used to. To have such a knowledge of language allows for mature and fascinating conversation.
The same writing is present in Emma, the second book I am reading for this paper. I have not finished it yet, but it is proving to be just as full with lively characters and twisting subplots as Ms. Austen’s most popular novel. Emma is quite a funny girl, as is her friend Harriett, so their times spent together make for an interesting read.
To read Austen’s words is to be transported to a different time. Today I watched Becoming Jane with Anne Hathaway (really good movie by the way) and I was able to further understand where her stories came from. She is such an incredible writer and I admire her so. This will probably not be my last blog about her; I see her influencing me for many years. I can only hope that this keyboard will be for me as Jane’s pen was for her.
Keep Calm and Read Jane Austen