Review: Happily Ever After: Celebrating Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
Frances Lincoln Limited Publishers
While I was in the British Library on Monday I saw a few books about Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice, and being a little bit of a Janeite I couldn’t resist buying this book for the train journey home. It is a fairly substantial hardback of 225 pages illustrated with drawings and photographs from the various editions of the book and film/tv adaptations that have been made. It took me a bit longer than the train journey to read, but certainly made the time pass agreeably.
The contents cover everything from the writing of Pride and Prejudice to the characters and various adaptations in books and films, and the ‘selling’ of Pride and Prejudice. Who knew you could get skateboards with quotes on them?
It is fairly obvious that the book was published to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice. The writer is clearly enamoured of her subject and holds definite opinions about it. It is enjoyable to read, and covers many interesting topics. The book is informative and would probably have been useful to my younger self when I was studying Pride and Prejudice for my GCSE English Literature. I particularly found the discussion of translating P&P interesting. The fine irony of Jane Austen, her wicked wit, cannot be easy to translate, although anyone who gives it a go deserves a medal for trying.
However, there is a slight feeling of snobbery and prejudice against anyone who dares to adapt the original (personally I like ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ – it’s funny) and the authoress also becomes repetitive at times. We all know P&P is a great book; you don’t need to tell us a dozen times a chapter.
Borrow it from the library if you’re studying Pride and Prejudice, only buy this book if you really can’t resist.
As ever, that’s just my opinion. Happy reading,