Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is 200 years old today. P&P (as it shall now be known) was my first ever introduction to Jane Austen.
Like the millions of viewers in the UK I watched the utterly fantastic BBC adaptation by Andrew Davies and Sue Birtwistle when it first aired in 1995 and I was completely gripped. At the tender age of 13 I sat waiting impatiently for the next instalment and wishing fervently, as I suppose this generation did with Twilight, for the ability to go back in time and be a regency lady. I thought by some cruel twist of fate I had been born in the wrong century.
I purchased the book as soon as the series ended, recieved the video box set for Christmas and the ‘Making of’ guide book, there was not one single thing I didnt love about that series. I even memorised the dialogue – too many hours watching Jennifer Ehle had made her my role model, and I loved the extras that Davies would comment on, the pieces that made it that little bit more special. For instance how the look between Elizabeth and Darcy at their first ball was an open challenge after Lizzy had heard Darcy dismiss her and taken it in amusement and jest rather than disappointment, had piqued his interest. It seemed to me they had thought of everything.
I was so pleased when I read the book to realise this was an adaptation that had done the book proud. The book was fantastic, witty, funny, clever and like the step back in time I so dearly wished for. It sparked a ten year obsession with everything regency even leading to an aborted book attempt of my own! Even the soundtrack invokes a warm, fuzzy feeling in my bones!
Pride and Prejudice will always hold a really special place in my heart and be one of my favourite adaptations of all time. Happy Birthday!!