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11.06.2015

Book Report - Pride and Prejudice and The Importance of Being Earnest

Another couple of books read for my 2015 PopSugar Reading Challenge! Jane Austen's, Pride and Prejudice, marked off "A Classic Romance" and Oscar Wilde's, The Importance of Being Earnest, marked off "A Play".

First up, was a re-read of my favorite book of all time, Pride and Prejudice.
When Elizabeth Bennet meets the wealthy bachelor, Mr. Darcy, she immediately finds him arrogant and snobbish. He, in turn, finds her and her family, exceedingly common. When a romance starts to blossom between Elizabeth's sister, Jane, and Mr. Darcy's good friend, Mr. Bingley, the two find themselves continually in each other's company. They soon realize that they each might have judged the other too harshly, but are both too proud to admit their feelings have started to softened.

What can I say that hasn't already been said about Pride and Prejudice? Nothing, except to tell you how much this book means to me.

I was late to discover Jane Austen, and first read Pride and Prejudice for a college course my Freshman year. There aren't a lot of times when I fell in love with required reading, but this was most definitely one of those times. I laughed...I cried...I swooned...I fell in love with Mr. Darcy right alongside Elizabeth. Not only that, I fell in love with Jane Austen! She has become a lifelong friend, who has brought such joy to my life. I read as a form of escapism, and there is no other book I'd rather escape to than Pride and Prejudice. It is perfection.

(Although there is nothing like the novel, if you are looking for an excellent screen adaptation of the book there is none better than the 1995 A&E mini-series starring Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy.)

Next up, another classic, Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest.
John "Jack" Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff (who knows John only as Ernest) are young, eligible bachelors looking to sometimes get out of their obligatory engagements. So, John lets Algernon in on his secret. His name is not Ernest at all, but actually Jack! In order to sneak away from the country and enjoy himself in London, he has made-up a brother named Ernest. When he wants to escape to London, he tells his pretty, young ward, Cecily Cardes, and her father that "Ernest" requires his assistance in London; allowing John to head off to the city whenever he desires. Once, in London, he goes by Ernest himself and does whatever pleases for as long as he likes. Intrigued by the mention of Cecily, Algernon heads to the country and pretends to be Ernest, Jack's fictional brother in order to meet her. In the meantime, John has asked the beautiful and wealthy Gwendolen Fairfax (who knows John only as Ernest) to marry him. Hilarity ensues when Cecily and Gwendolen meet and discover they are both in love with and being pursued by who they think is the same Ernest!

I adore this play. The Importance of Being Earnest is funny, witty, fast-paced, and the wordplay is just so very clever. It's such a quick read too (maybe an hour or so), so there is no excuse for anyone out there for not reading this play. Definitely check it out, you won't be disappointed.

(After you've read it, you can check out the film adaptation which is also pretty good, and incidentally also stars Colin Firth)


Do you like Jane Austen and/or Oscar Wilde?  What are your favorites?

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