When I was fifteen or sixteen my aunt Heather gave me Pride and Prejudice for my birthday. I read it that spring. At that age the novel seemed to be a really tediously told love story. Gosh Austen just seemed to blather on and on about really insignificant crap, but Mr. Darcy’s babe-ness and Elizabeth’s kick-ass character were still enough to keep me captive.
If you feel the way I felt then about Austen, it’s totally understandable. But you’re wrong.
What seems to be tedious and trivial is actually bitingly sarcastic. Lord Austen is sassy! You might question why on earth we’re spending so much time reading minute details about every single social interaction in the books, but it’s to show how flawed the characters are – just how incredibly ridiculous and ludicrous they can be. The genre is called “comedy of manners” and the whole point of Pride and Prejudice is that most of the characters don’t have any manners at all. It’s irony. And it’s incredibly funny.
Ever since that first spring of falling in love with Darcy’s haughty demeanor and Elizabeth’s sassy attitude, springtime means Jane Austen. The weather gets warm and I crave that sarcastic wit. Next warm day, I recommend picking up Persuasion, P&P or even Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The sass will not disappoint.