My love for Jane Austen started with “Pride and Prejudice.” Specifically, it began with the Scholastic Classics edition pictured above, which I ordered from one of those Scholastic Book Club flyers in middle school.
I chose it because I knew it was one of those books everyone is meant to read, and I thought the cover looked dreamy and romantic. But at age 11, I was too young to appreciate Austen. I had a hard time understanding it, and so my first read was a disappointing one.
The second time I picked up “Pride and Prejudice,” I was hooked. I read it in my high school British Lit class just a few months before the movie with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen was released. The one-two punch of book discussions with my peers and a viewing of the movie cemented this book forever in my mind.
I’ve now read it dozens of times (the Scholastic copy is becoming more worn each round) and know I’ll have many more reads in the future.
This classic story about human nature, relationships—familial, romantic and societal—and overcoming your own prejudices has endured because it’s both relatable and presented with equal parts truth and humor.
Any scene with the pompous and silly Mr. Collins will always make me laugh out loud, while I cringe every time I read about Elizabeth unexpectedly running into Darcy at Pemberley after she’s rejected his proposal. The love of the Bennet sisters is heartwarming, as is Darcy’s loyalty to his longtime friend.
It’s rare that a book literally makes someone laugh and cry (and feel everything in between) and “Pride and Prejudice” will always be one of those books for me.