Friday, June 02, 2006

First impressions don’t last?

Re-reading Pride and Prejudice after more than four decades has been daunting. I cannot remember what I had thought of Jane Austen when I first read it. Today, I find her nineteenth-century usage quaint ('chuse', 'teaze', 'shew', 'stile', etc.) but her dialogue and story telling impeccable. Imagine keeping me riveted – in eager anticipation – to the exploits of young damsels in rural England seeking desirable husbands! And, that too, pushing aside a couple of topical books I'd been planning to read for quite a while now. Austen's most popular and well-known novel was originally written between October 1796 and August 1797 (qua First Impressions) but published only in 1813. In 1811, her Sense and Sensibility was published and became an instant success. After that, she revised First Impressions and it was published a couple of years later. If you wish to know more about her P&P characters, timeline and locales, go to the well-organised and copiously informative website at Don't forget to take a good look at the 1895 edition illustrations by Charles E Brock, either.

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