Two hundred years is a long time in the course of modern history. To think of how maps have changed, how international boundaries have been drawn and redrawn, how leaders have been memorialized and ostracized, is dizzying. After all that, I’m thankful that at the very least the books written two centuries ago are still going strong.
Well, not all of them have passed the test of time. But if there is a short list of authors that come to mind when one thinks of 19th century literature, Jane Austen is surely at the top of the list. Today is the 200th anniversary of the original publication date of Pride and Prejudice. That’s cause for celebration! It’s a classic, it’s been made into a myriad film and tv adaptations, and it’s a novel that many writers use as their gold standard. Heck, now there are versions that feature zombies and 73 Shades of Blah-like eroticism.
Here’s my dirty little secret though: I haven’t read it yet. Seriously. It’s not even on my bookshelf in the “I’ll read it one day” pile. This probably makes me a bad reader, but it was never required reading and I just haven’t gotten around to it.
I enjoy Jane Austen. Persuasion is a favorite of mine, and I love Victorian and British literature (I’m pretty sure I was the only one in my class that read Jane Eyre twice the summer it was required, because I loved it so much). I should have read Pride and Prejudice by now, I should have read it hundreds of times. I should have a copy that is well worn with a spine that will fall apart if if someone looks at it the wrong way.
But none of these things has happened. I’ve read Persuasion and Northanger Abbey and enjoyed them, but nothing has compelled me to pick up Pride and Prejudice.
What is wrong with me? A great many things, I suppose, but this wrong can be easily rectified. On this 20-carat diamond anniversary*, please convince me to finally read this book. Give me one reason, or ten. But do not try to convince me to read the zombie or S&M versions, please and thank you.
This post is part of the Pride and Prejudice Anniversary Party Blog Hop:
I’ve never done a blog hop before (seriously!) and I thought this would be a fun one to participate in (even though my post about it is somewhat unconventional). Check out Alyssa Goodnight’s blog post for the rest of the participants. And may you drink tea and watch Colin Firth movies in honor of this momentous day.
*Logically, while first anniversary is paper, second is cotton, etc., there is no official designation for a 200th anniversary. But 100 year is a 10-carat diamond, so I extrapolated.