WELCOME TO THE 1ST DISCUSSION!
Here we are on another month of JABBR! I was so excited to read P&P that I just couldn’t put it down once I picked it up! I read through the first volume super quick and tried to make as many notes as I could. Before we get into some of the discussion questions, here is some background information about P&P!
Pride & Prejudice was published in 1813 when Jane was 38 years old. I’ve read that this also was first written in epistolary form and the original title was: First Impressions. This first edition was written around 1796-1797. This is obviously Jane’s most popular novel but when Jane’s father went to see to its publication in 1797, the publisher wouldn’t even look at the manuscript! Hence, the long journey it took to be published in 1813. I wonder if it had been published in 1797, it would have still been in epistolary form with the original title? Interesting…
After the success of Sense and Sensibility(£140), Jane then revised First Impressions and sold it in 1812 (for £110). She called it her “own darling child”. It then published two months later in late January of 1813! A second edition was even published later that same year, but sadly, Jane did not see any profit from that.
- The original title of this novel was First Impressions. What are your first impressions of the Bennet family? Mr. Bingley and his sisters? Mr. Darcy?
- What is to be the theme of the novel? How do we know this from the beginning?
- How is the structure of this novel somewhat different from Sense & Sensibility (and her other novels, if you’ve read them)?
- What is Charlotte’s opinion of marriage and courtship? What is Elizabeth’s opinion of marriage and courtship?
- As Miss Bingley points out, what are the perceived differences that could keep Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth and Mr. Bingley and Jane apart?
- What are the true barriers between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth?
- How are the social interactions of the early 19th century different from today’s? Why is such importance placed on rank and wealth?
- Marriage, as something to be aspired to, is portrayed quite differently in the novel than existing marriages. What married couples do we see in the novel? How would you characterize these relationships?
- Elizabeth is upset to learn that Charlotte has accepted Mr. Collins’s marriage proposal. Do you think Charlotte should have married Mr. Collins? Did she choose him or did he choose her? What do you think influenced her decision to accept him? Is Charlotte a romantic? Is Elizabeth?
- Tell us your feelings about the characters. Lizzy? Darcy? Bingley? Mrs. Bennet? Miss. Bingley? etc.
You may answer as many questions as you like or just run with your thoughts! Either way, I’m looking forward to reading what you thought of Volume 1!