Being a HUGE Jane Austen fan, and Pride and Prejudice ranking as my favorite of all her works, I have, of course, read the novel several times. The book I acquired (years ago) is an antiquated volume, probably gleaned from my English Prof father now that I think of it, with beautiful period prints of the characters.
I don’t know as I ever regarded Bingley as manly to begin with. More of a likable puppy. Far too uncertain of himself to be admirable, alth0ugh I applaud his good heart. Darcy’s nemesis, Mr. Wickham, may have been despicable, but he was manly. Rupert Friend (pictured) as Wickham in the 2005 version is gorgeous!
Of all Jane Austen’s heroine’s I like Elizabeth Bennett and Emma the best. Emma is my second favorite of her novels, so it figures. Both of those women have gumption. Lizzy’s older sister Jane is almost unbearably good while younger sister Lydia is unbelievably self-centered and stupid. Such vastly different siblings in that family, but it happens. And the silly, dramatic mother and sharp-witted father are wonderfully drawn. Not to neglect Lady Catherine de Bourg and the odious Mr. Collins. Fabulous characters all. Ms. Austen must have known people like that in her family and her community. So do I. 🙂
My favorite film production is the 1995 mini series with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. A win, win. I loved it when Lizzy comes to Mr. Darcy’s palatial estate with her sane aunt and uncle and encounters him there accidentally, and the way he gazes at her when she plays the pianoforte, and, and, and. I can’t rave enough about this production.
I also enjoyed the 2005 version with Keira Knightly and Matthew Mcfadyen, even though her hair drove me nuts. As I understand it, bangs weren’t fashionable until later in the 1800’s. But it’s still an excellent film. And that scene when Lizzie and Darcy meet at dawn is exquisite, though the one that follows at the end of the movie would have put Jane Austen to the blush. Too much intimacy for her novels, but I enjoyed it. 🙂 It’s such a shame that Austen, like so many other creative geniuses of their day, didn’t live to see the enormity of her success.
The soundtrack in the 2005 production is one of my all time favorites ever, not that I didn’t like the 1995 one because I did. So, certainly I must include some delicious clips for you.
Here’s that wonderful lake scene I mentioned above.
And the trailer from the 2005 production for those of you who missed it. I suppose there might be one or two of you still out there.