Cover Image: Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice

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Member Reviews

Thanks to Netgalley and Andrews McMeel for the advanced copy.

My review on this illustrated edition, that will be out on March 2nd 2021, is in a vein very similar to the one I've written for Emma.
Pride and Prejudice is a timeless classic that deserves all the special editions one can afford and being the big Jane Austen fan that I am, it was a joy being able to have this digital preview in my hands, but I believe that it can only be fully enjoyed in paper format.
As I have noted for Emma, the illustrations by Marjolein Bastin are detailed, elegant and beautifully designed but I was expecting something more than nature-themed depictions. I think these special editions could've been even more so if there had been a few illustrations of scenes from the novel.

These versions of Emma and Pride and Prejudice are lovely and well done, making them great collectibles one can add to their own personal library or gift to others.
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‘’There is a stubbornness in me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others.’’

The greatness of what I consider to be Jane Austen’s finest work can be found beyond the elegant prose, the intelligent irony, the complexity of the characters, the romance that melts even the coldest of hearts. Similar to the most significant writers in History, Jane Austen’s insight on the human soul reflected the quality of her pen along with her acute understanding of the idiosyncrasy of our feelings.

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! -- When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”

Elizabeth Bennett is the woman we should all aspire to be. Intelligent, independent, caring, polite, standing her ground regardless of the consequences and the external factors, unafraid to acknowledge her feelings. Armed with subtle irony and caustic honesty, she faces the coldness of the ones belonging in the ‘’upper class’’ and puts them in their proper place. Bookish, a lover of nature, deeply faithful to her principles and a true daughter of her father, her first impressions is a justified rebellion towards Darcy’s rugged, almost vicious remarks. And it is exactly her influence on him that elevates Pride and Prejudice to the realms of the novels that reflect our souls.

“There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of merit or sense.”

I always felt a strange kind of sympathy for Darcy. I think he is exhausted by the hypocrisy of the young ladies and the vultures that their mothers represent, his abrupt manner becomes a shield to hide his disappointment with the world. He is absolutely done and I don’t blame him. But Elizabeth represents a challenge and the truth she mercilessly and rightfully throws on his face prompts him to search deeper and discover that the world he perceives as rotten can be seen differently at the side of Elizabeth.

I don’t care about feminist pseudo-reflections, I’ve never been one to follow the flow or to bow down to fashionable labels. For me, it is simple. Elizabeth is grace, intelligence, integrity, passion personified. She is the brightest example of Jane Austen’s immense talent to expose every vice and highlight every virtue of ours. This is not a frollicking romance. If you bother, you will find that it is actually a precise study of our tendency to fear and then accept the unknown.

“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.”
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In the new collectible edition by talented illustrator Marjolein Bastin, Pride and Prejudice is another creative gem. I would describe it using the same pros and cons I mentioned in my review of Emma. It is beautifully illustrated with rich and precious natural elements. But it does not contain any visual interpretation of the characters, and that is something I would have really appreciated to see. Besides, it is best enjoyed in paper format.

The major visual asset here, when compared with Emma, would be the quality of the cover, in my opinion. The cover looks more dramatic and mysterious with this intense dark and gold background.

The book will be available in stores in February 2021.
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★★★✰✰ 3.75 stars (rounded up to 4)

It isn't surprising that Pride and Prejudice has become such a classic, one that inspired thousands of adaptations and re-tellings. Many of the story's components have become conventions...and to dismiss this novel as a 'girl's book' is not only incredibly superficial but it negates Jane Austen's clever social commentary.
While many of its characters are satirical personifications of certain types of people (the solipsistic and frivolous mother, the disinterested father, the silly sister(s), the intellectual one, and so on) it does so in a compelling way that makes them all the more vivid in the reader's mind. Austen's witty narrative might not appeal to all readers but it is undeniable that her story presents us with sharp-witted portraits.
In spite of her 'prejudices' Liz was an admirable heroine whose loyalty to her family, and in particular to her sister Jane, made her all the more likeable. Her 'romance' with Darcy is but one of the many strands of this rich story that deals with class and gender. What happens between the characters is conveyed in a subtle manner, through carefully selected words...yet the narrative is always buzzing with a vibrant energy.
An entertaining read that definitely lived up to its fame.

This new edition is certainly pretty but the pdf version is too 'large' for my kindle so I had to use my laptop to access it. Although the illustrations of flowers and butterflies are lovely they don't add much to the story (perhaps illustrations of certain scenes would been better suited).
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Would love to read and review this, but have no way right now to access a pdf only. Not having a kindle version creates all sorts of issues. Maybe when I get my new tablet I can download it.
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