Pride & Prejudice: 1st Discussion

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!

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

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.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. 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?
  2. What is to be the theme of the novel? How do we know this from the beginning?
  3. How is the structure of this novel somewhat different from Sense & Sensibility (and her other novels, if you’ve read them)?
  4. What is Charlotte’s opinion of marriage and courtship? What is Elizabeth’s opinion of marriage and courtship?
  5. As Miss Bingley points out, what are the perceived differences that could keep Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth and Mr. Bingley and Jane apart?
  6. What are the true barriers between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth?
  7. How are the social interactions of the early 19th century different from today’s? Why is such importance placed on rank and wealth?
  8. 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?
  9. 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?
  10. 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!

Good luck!

Comment away!

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116 thoughts on “Pride & Prejudice: 1st Discussion

  1. Tisha Mitchell says:

    Q1. I simply adore the relationship between Elizabeth and her father as well as the relationship between Elizabeth and her sister. Mr. B. is a saint for dealing with Mrs. Bennet. She’s really hard to take…like really hard to take. The other sisters I think Mr. Bennet says it best they are just silly. It wouldn’t be fair for me to speak of the other cast of characters because I have read this book too many times so my opinion, based on part one alone, is long out of my head! But what I can say is having seeing the BBC miniseries so many times when I read this book I actually hear the voices/accents in my head from the miniseries. And Mrs. Bennet is a real gem. I actually do a fairly decent impersonation of her if I do say so myself 😹

    Liked by 3 people

    • thereadingrebel says:

      I have read Austen’s books multiple times so when I reread them for this read I try to think what would I think of this if I was a first time reader. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Mr and Mrs Bennet one of the most hilarious unhappily married couples in fiction. That is what I call them.

      Like

    • spines in a line says:

      I really like Mr Bennet! I’ve seen the movie version with Donald Sutherland and now reading the book for the first time, he fits the character perfectly! Easily my favourite!

      As for the young sisters, they are quite silly though I think with their age they’re granted that silliness. I was kind of annoyed with their movie characters though I’m not quite so annoyed with them in the book (which may change!). I am sorry for Mary though. She’s hardly talked about, like the family forgets about her, and it sounds like she’s got nothing going for her! At least she doesn’t seem to take much notice of the ridicule at her singing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Chanda says:

        I found it interesting within the first couple of chapters when you are finding out more about the sisters and I found that there were a few things said about Mary, but there was NOTHING about Kitty. She is just the tag along for Lydia.

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  2. Tisha Mitchell says:

    Q4.. oh poor poor Charlotte. I truly hope there are no people like that in today’s world. It actually makes me kind of sad. She wasn’t a fan of men or matrimony. She realized she had no choice in life however but to get married. I think her greatest concern was how Elizabeth would feel about the match.

    Elizabeth on the other hand is what I would consider normal. In her speech to Mr. Collins she basically said (more poetically than me) the wife should make the husband happy and the husband should make the wife happy. Pure and simple.

    Liked by 2 people

    • thereadingrebel says:

      In this day and age Charlotte would be a successful business women. In some cultures sadly it is still like that. Having to marry someone you don’t love or even respect I can’t imagine a worse fate. Marianne wasn’t hopelessly in love with Colonel Brandon at first but when she married him she was great friends with him and had great respect for him. Charlotte doesn’t even respect Mr. Collins. Poor Charlotte was born in the wrong time period. Elizabeth is normal in her view of marriage as it is how we think now but back then love had little to do with marriage. Connections,money,and rising in society were the most common reasons to marry.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tisha Mitchell says:

        Oh yes, today Charlotte would purchase her suits at Ann Taylor, take the train to work and have a cat (or two). She’d work late ever night then her and Fluffy would eat takeout together in her whitewashed brick condo!

        Liked by 1 person

      • spines in a line says:

        I agree with you, Elizabeth certainly is ahead of her time with her ideas of marriage!

        I’m somewhat reminded of Elinor with Charlotte in this book and her very sensible approach to marriage, though of course Elinor didn’t have the same opinions on this topic. I’m not really sure how much they might actually be similar, since because Charlotte is not the main character we don’t really get to fully understand her, but Charlotte realizes this is likely her only chance to secure a “happy” future. With the comments on her brother’s being happy that she won’t die an old maid, she probably also thought she was running out of time.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Chanda says:

        It always surprises me when rereading P&P to see how conniving Charlotte is portrayed. She wanted Mr. Collins to come and propose to her once she realized that Lizzie would never accept him. I get why she wanted to marry him because she was a burden to her family. She was going to end up a spinster and this was her way out of that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • tracey mandavy says:

        they probably have gotten to a certain age, focussed on their career never really have a serious relationship alone with the pressure from family to settle down and start a family etc….

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    • brennan45 says:

      I think Charlottes engagement is Austens critique of the male dominated society that she lived in that left unmarried women without a future.

      I think Charlottes conversation with Elizabeth sort of foreshadowed her engagement to Mr. Collins. It is a practical marriage, Charlotte herself says to not know your husband too well. There were laws and gender roles in Austens society that left women few options for the betterment of their situations, marriage being the main one.

      Charlotte is older than a Elizabeth if I remember correctly? So I feel she just wanted to settle so she wouldn’t be a burden on her family. She doesn’t have a fortune so she has to capitalise on any situation that presents itself to try and avoid the scorn of being an old maid/spinster.

      “She accepted [Mr. Collins] solely from the pure and disinterested desire of an establishment” whereas Elizabeth is an idealist and wants to marry for love so will not marry solely for money.

      Liked by 1 person

      • spines in a line says:

        I like your thoughts on this being a critique. I’ve found several parts that I feel are representing Austen’s opinions of her society.

        My favourite has been the discussion of “accomplished women”. Elizabeth comments that she’s surprised Darcy knows any accomplished women at all, with everything they must possess to be considered one. What were your feelings on this part (open to everyone here!)?

        I wasn’t totally sure where Elizabeth stands after this. It sort of sounded, as Miss Bingley suggested, that she was attacking women. While I like Elizabeth, I think this would be in her character as she seems to be the type to find fault where others act differently than herself, which is often in Elizabeth’s case!

        Personally if I was in the same situation, I would’ve brought up how “accomplished men” probably possess half those characteristics and yet..! This seemed a better comeback than Elizabeth taking it out on women.

        It’ll be interesting to discuss what our overall feelings are about where Austen stands at the end of this book! I’m sure the book is filled with critiques we can pick out!

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  3. Tisha Mitchell says:

    Q8. I will skim the surface of this question with Mrs. and Mr. Bennet…they say opposites attract, such is the case with this unlikely duo. Mrs. Bennett is so calculating (hoping Jane got caught in the rain) so nosey, so interfering and so loud. Mr. Bennet is just a quiet man who likes to read in his library. And he clearly loves his family…well at least Elizabeth. I wish there was a prequel to this book so we could see Mr. Mrs. Bennett when they were younger.

    With that being said I am sure the elder Bennett’s marriage was normal for the day.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Tisha Mitchell says:

    If this book was an Aesop fable I think the moral to be learned would have been a line uttered by Elizabeth in Chapter 5: “that is very true,” replied Elizabeth, “and I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine. ” I suppose the moral would be something along the lines of it’s OK to have pride in yourself but not at the expense of hurting others.

    Liked by 2 people

    • always.halloweenish says:

      I failed at taking notes again. I just think I’m good at note taking.
      Anyways, As a first time Austen reader i am enjoying this more than S&S.
      My first impression of Mr. Darcy is he an ass. I read the first 20 chapters so fast, then I slowed myself read another book that I put aside for P&P. So far my first impression it’s smoother writing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • spines in a line says:

        I think it is stronger than Sense and Sensibility. For me, the characters have been much more enjoyable (especially the “villains”).

        Elizabeth and Jane are of course a wonderful pair, and it’s nice to see how much Jane Austen loves to create these strong sister relationships. Both of them being older than the two in S&S allows for a much more mature relationship and though these two still have different personalities from each other, they seem to be more in common than Elinor and Marianne so perhaps have a stronger relationship.

        I’ve enjoyed finding comparisons between this one and our last read, and also what she’s changed in her writing!

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Tisha Mitchell says:

    Q10. Let’s talk about Mary. She is quite the wordsmith isn’t she? I love her bringing to light the difference between pride and vanity within chapter 6. Pride, according to Mary, “relates more to our opinion of ourselves” while vanity “[is] what we would have others think of us”. So insightful.

    Although you could almost see the blank stares on Lydia and Kitty’s faces 😹

    I really wish this book was a series of books and Jane Austen wrote more about everybody, especially Mary (and Mr. and Mrs. Bennett as I mentioned before). I know other authors have taken on this role but I really would’ve liked to have seen what Jane Austen felt about these characters in more detail.

    Liked by 3 people

    • thereadingrebel says:

      I have always had a soft spot for Mary. She is the only plain one in the family and since she can’t be beautiful she wants to be the smartest person in the room. I identify with that. I do also wish that Jane Austen had written sequels to her books and maybe she would have if she had lived longer. I read an essay where someone makes the case for Mary being the first example of a nerd/geek in fiction. I will have to find it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • spines in a line says:

      That would’ve been great to have this as a series! There’s such a large cast of characters that we don’t really get time to meet them all. I would like to see more of Mary since she does seem quite ignored in this. I’d also like to learn more about Charlotte, especially since she and Elizabeth have such a strong friendship. Getting to see more of this would be really interesting

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tisha Mitchell says:

        Yes!!! And Lady Catherine de Bourgh! I would have loved to get to know her! And why she deserves Mr. Collins never ending praise!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Tisha Mitchell says:

    Q3. This is not totally an answer to your question but what I would like to point out about these two books is I prefer Jane and Elizabeth 100% over Marianne and Elinor. I definitely sensed more of a bond. Even though Jane and Elizabeth had some major differences in their personalities I felt they would have chosen to be friends had they not been related. I didn’t get that same feeling from M and E.

    Liked by 3 people

    • thereadingrebel says:

      I do love Jane and Elizabeth’s relationship better then Elinor and Marianne’s. Marianne already though low of her sisters feelings and like you feel that they would have never got on if not sisters. Maybe after Marianne changed but not though most of the book.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Elizabeth says:

      The sisterly friendship is fantastic between these two and again is so well written. I think with Lydia too we get a sense of what Marianne could have been like without Elinor’s more sobering influence. With the Bennets by the time they had Lydia, Elizabeth and Jane would have already formed that strong bond and so the relationship with Lydia and even Kitty and Mary wouldn’t be as strong.

      Liked by 1 person

      • spines in a line says:

        It feels like with Elizabeth and Jane’s close and closed-off relationship that the younger girls never get the advice of an older sister. They’re just left to figure life out for themselves! (And poor Mary again, without a pair as the two youngest form their own bond)

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  7. Tisha Mitchell says:

    I would also like to point out that we will probably never see a quote from Charlotte on any mug or book marker from Etsy…especially this one: “when she (Jane) is secure of him, there will be more leisure for falling in love as much as she chooses”. Poor misinformed Charlotte !!

    Liked by 2 people

    • thereadingrebel says:

      Charlotte will never be one of Austen most quoted characters. She dealt with marriage very much like society did back then. Mrs. Bennet views it in much the same way Charlotte does. She wanted Elizabeth to marry Mr. Collins not just because he would get the property but because he has a respectable home and connections. She doesn’t care it her girls are in love with them as long as they have money. Mrs. Bennet would have done what Charlotte did.

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  8. Tisha Mitchell says:

    Q10. Oh Mr. Darcy! Your good opinion once lost is lost forever? I agree with most everything else you say within these pages but come on we are all human! We make mistakes, we learn from them and we don’t repeat them (if we truly learned). Second chances man!

    Liked by 3 people

    • thereadingrebel says:

      I know I was like Hello Darcy you are not perfect. No one is. Everyone makes mistakes. Mr. Darcy hasn’t shown himself very agreeable or hero worthy in this volume. We can only wait and see what Volume 2 holds. 🙂

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    • spines in a line says:

      I did like his comments to Elizabeth at the dance though, that he doesn’t easily form the resentment. Even if his opinions aren’t all well-formed, at least he doesn’t immediately write people off.

      He certainly doesn’t make much of an attempt to make himself likeable though! I’m hoping we’ll see more in the next volumes about these groups that people keep mentioning who he actually appears sincere to. We definitely haven’t seen that thus far!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Tisha Mitchell says:

    There are so many LOL moments in this book. Like literally totally laughing out loud. The one sentence that had me in hysterics was regarding Mr. Collins : ” He begged pardon for having displeased her. In a softened tone she declared herself not at all offended, but he continued to apologize for about a quarter of an hour”. 😹🙈😹🙈

    Liked by 2 people

    • thereadingrebel says:

      Mr. Collins the fool. I love whenever he talks because I am always laughing. When he tells Elizabeth that she must be refusing his proposal to increase his love by suspense I can’t even. His proposal is one of the most foolish and funny I have ever read( correction it is the most foolish and funny I have ever read). His speaks would be tedious to read if they weren’t so funny because he seems to never shut up.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Tisha Mitchell says:

        Oh I know! I mean I guess there are women like that but it’s not like he knew from a first account experience ! If I had to listen to a person like him in real life prattle on and on and on I may take a screwdriver to my temple… or down several screwdriver cocktails … whichever .

        Liked by 2 people

      • thereadingrebel says:

        LOL whatever was within reach at the time. I would have trouble trying not to laugh every time he was talking. I would be pretend coughing a lot. He would think I was sick and dying a slow death by coughing.

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      • brennan45 says:

        I agree @thereadingrebel his proposal was just so foolish and funny. I couldn’t help but just picture Elizabeth’s face when he asked to speak to her alone and she tried to plead with her mother to stay!

        I was surprised by his lack of ability to accept/perceive no as an answer! Has he had that much of a sheltered life and never faced rejection before? Or does he just not see(case in point – when he talks to Darcy at the ball and thinks it goes amazingly but Darcy is just there like what? Who even are you😂) He doesn’t even give Lizzie a chance to answer before he starts planning the wedding! Such a. Foolish character🙈

        Liked by 2 people

    • spines in a line says:

      A lot of the funny moments I’ve found have been surrounding Mr. Collins. My fave so far was when he’s playing cards with Mrs. Phillips and is about to go into a long discussion but she cuts him off 😀 He has something to say about everything, doesn’t he?

      Liked by 1 person

      • thereadingrebel says:

        Yes he does. I love his speech about music at Bingley’s ball. I was thinking thank goodness he isn’t musical. I can’t imagine how horrible a singer and player he must be. I take that back I can imagine and the image is shudder worthy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • brennan45 says:

        I find myself laughing at white a few of his interactions! I think that was one of the best reactions to Mr. Collins 😂

        I just felt bad for Mr. Bennett who couldn’t even seek refuge in his library. When Collins started to read aloud I couldn’t help it. I burst out laughing. I was like read the room Collins! When he was interrupted though… I felt slightly bad but also jealous because I have been in many a similar situcstion and I wish I had the courage to interrupted the person and just start a different conversation!

        Liked by 2 people

      • spines in a line says:

        I’ve only seen the 2005 version so I’ll have to check that one out.

        I liked it but now reading the book, my only issue so far is that the man playing Mr. Collins was too old! He was very unlikeable so he fit the character that way, but really he should be the same age as the other eligible bachelors in this book. I believe it said he was 25 but in the movie he was closer to 40.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Tisha Mitchell says:

    I was a little upset with Elizabeth for when she heard Wickham’s story regarding Darcy she set her mind that that was the way it was. In the words of Ronald Reagan “trust but verify “.She was very quick to judge. I was very glad when Jane, in chapter 17, tried to put her in her place.

    Liked by 2 people

    • thereadingrebel says:

      Miss Marple from Agatha Christie is one of my favorite characters because she trusts no information until she could verify it. Does anyone else think it strange he just spilled the whole story out to Elizabeth on the first meeting? It seems like such a private story to tell a stranger. I wouldn’t sit down at a table and tell everyone all about my disappointments in life but maybe it comes from having such different dispositions. Also do you think that Elizabeth liked Wickham better because he told her she was right about Mr. Darcy being disagreeable?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Tisha Mitchell says:

        I think I would like Miss Marple. I have yet to read any of those books.

        Yes indeed. I thought that was completely strange he told the whole story to a stranger. She must have the same kind of face I do when people come up to me in the grocery store And start telling me their life stories!!

        I never thought of that, but yes the fact he agreed with her could be a part of the reason she was a fan of his…that and the man in uniform thing 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • thereadingrebel says:

        I love Agatha Chrisite and some of her Miss Marple books are my favorites. That happened to my dad all the time. People loved to come up and talk to him and tell them their life stories. He wasn’t the biggest people person.

        Elizabeth like most people loves to be right and Wickham telling her that story about Darcy would have connived her she was right and she would have to been happy because she thinks she reads all people correctly. After what happened with Charlotte she might need to rethink that. She thought she knew Charlotte’s character. I think she really knew Charlotte would do what she did but refused to believe it because she loved and respected her. I think she is bit to hard on Charlotte because she thinks differently about marriage then her.

        Liked by 1 person

      • spines in a line says:

        That does make sense as to why Elizabeth would get on so well with him right away, because they can share in their feelings over Darcy. I was a bit surprised that she has fallen so quickly for Wickham, as she doesn’t seem the one to get so caught up in infatuation. But then again, she’s a young girl and she is very attractive!

        I was also disappointed by her reaction to Charlotte. Charlotte is this older, wiser friend and it does seem suited to her character that she would choose a secure future over happiness or romantic love. She’s well-suited to Elizabeth as she can ground her when she’s full of wild ideas.

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      • thereadingrebel says:

        A agree I didn’t think her the kind of girl to get caught up in a crush on Wickham but I am wondering if she would have payed so much attention to him if she hadn’t seen the look that passed between him and Darcy. I mean that seemed to be the reason she really wanted to talk to him.

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      • spines in a line says:

        Yes, a lot of her attraction to Wickham seems more to do more of her “character studies” and learn all of Darcy’s secrets (as well as the added bonus of making him jealous?). I did get the feeling that it comes a lot out of her growing obsession around all things Darcy, whether she likes him or not

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      • Chanda says:

        Wickham was really smart in how he started talking about Darcy. He made sure that he knew Elizabeth’s opinion of him before he started bashing him. Elizabeth also says that no one in town likes him either so that gives Wickham the knowledge to spread his tale around town, making him the hero and making Darcy look awful.

        Liked by 1 person

      • brennan45 says:

        I thought the same! I was a bit like why would you tell such a self pity story to a woman you barely know?

        I think Elizabeth believed him purely because he was more charismatic than Darcy. In her head Darcy is still this man who didn’t think she was handsome enough to dance with. Why would she believe him over this charismatic handsome young soldier.

        I don’t think she would have given Wickham a second though apart from the look that passed between him and Darcy. I think she was looking for justification for her continued dislike towards Darcy. Which is also why she was so quick to believe Wickham without a shred of evidence.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Tisha Mitchell says:

    Q10. Mr. Bennet won me over from the get-go, but I love him even more in chapter 20 when he said that Mrs. Bennett would never see Elizabeth again if she did not marry Mr. Collins and then said he would never see her again if she does!!!! It really seems like he lets the house run itself and he will let his voice be heard if it is an absolute necessity. This was such a time!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • thereadingrebel says:

      Mr. Bennet has some of the best lines in all of Austen’s book. But I do wish Mr. Bennet would be kinder to his younger daughters. I know they are both very silly but if he gave them more attention maybe they wouldn’t be. They are both left so much with their mother who isn’t a very wise women in knowledge or understanding.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Tisha Mitchell says:

        Interesting I never thought of that either. I am loving this buddy read thing!!! He should have never given up on his daughters. They were still young enough that he could’ve had a positive influence on them. Wasn’t like he was out of the house every day !

        Liked by 1 person

      • thereadingrebel says:

        I think at least Mary and Kitty could have learned from him and would have listened. Lydia I don’t know about but he could have still tried. If he had given Mary more attention I know she would have become something great and might have even become equal in affection with Lizzy. She could have had her father at least on her side. Of all of them Mary needed him most. Being the odd one out.

        Liked by 1 person

      • spines in a line says:

        Yes, he doesn’t seem to be fair to them, seeing only a good companion in Lizzy. I think you’re right about him benefiting Mary. She seems to be a very smart girl and knowledgeable in a lot of things so I’m sure she and Mr. Bennet would have very insightful conversations if he’d give her the chance.

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  12. spines in a line says:

    Q9 So, I really like Charlotte so far, and as I plan my writing I’m not sure how much it will actually answer the question or be more a comment on her character, so sorry ahead of time 😛
    I think she’s very wise and provides much needed advice to several of the characters. I know she felt that Mr. Collins was her sure path to prosperity but I can’t help but feel sad for the lack of happiness she has to look forward to. She knew what she needed/wanted though and she saw to it that she got it.

    I wish Elizabeth wouldn’t have given up on her so easily though. I think she feels really sorry for her friend and maybe doesn’t want to share that emotion so she keeps her space, but I think she’s really doing a disservice to Charlotte. I mean, at the very least, she’s going to need someone to talk to since Mr. Collins will never let her get a word in! If she can’t have happiness with a husband, I would hope she could still experience happiness among friends.

    Some of the other comments on Charlotte above don’t seem to have a favourable opinion of her views on love/marriage but I do think she’s right in her warning to Jane. It’s one thing to be a proper woman and restrain your emotions (is that a jab at Marianne?), but if you don’t make known your affection at all, no proposal is likely to come your way.
    I’m always thinking of comparisons and this also made me think of Darcy and his affection for Elizabeth. He’s hiding his feelings for her, though of course for him this is a success as he doesn’t want to be found out. I do find it funny that there can be similarities between Jane, the sweetest character and Darcy, the rudest!

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    • spines in a line says:

      You’d think with that response I’d be done on this topic but I still have some more to say about Charlotte 🙂

      While I enjoy Jane and Elizabeth’s friendship, Jane is so trusting of everyone that though she’s a good sounding board for Elizabeth and they can have discussions on many topics, she can’t always best advise her on what to do in more difficult situations. Jane always wants to avoid any trouble or arguments that she wants to play that even ground, but Charlotte can better help Elizabeth when she actually needs to take a side. Both relationships are important and I hope Elizabeth does open up to Charlotte again and enter back into that friendship

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      • Tisha Mitchell says:

        It’s nice to read somebody’s different take on a character. I agree that Elizabeth getting advice from Jane and Charlotte would most definitely help her. Both her sister and her friend look at things differently so talking to both of them and hearing their take on any situation would most surely help.

        I also agree Charlotte will need Elizabeth now more than ever. The only other thing that would help her stay sane in that marriage would be to have lots and lots of children!

        Liked by 1 person

    • brennan45 says:

      I think Charotte is very much a woman of her time. You can’t blame her wanting to be married. For her she doesn’t believe in marriage for love but for wealth and security, as did many women in those days. But if those are her thoughts she would be happy in her marriage as she is getting what she wanted- security.

      I was a bit shocked by Elizabeth’s reaction to her friends engagement. She wasn’t very supportive and just feels sorry for her. But her friend is marrying because she wants to be married. Yes it might not be to the best man but she just wants husband and not to be an old spinster. Elizabeth was judging her because she didn’t fit into her idea of marriage(marriage for love) I feel like she could have been more uspportive of her friend!
      Charlottes warning to Jane was true though. I mean it’s all well and good hiding your emotions but she should at least show her affection to Bingley. I mean when she was sick he was worried and when she was sitting up he kept piling wood on the fire to stop her from being cold. Yes it’s only small but he was showing his affection!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. spines in a line says:

    I certainly have my thoughts on comparisons/contrasts between the two books we’ve read (are reading) so far but what do you all think? I know these are different books but have you found any characters that remind you of ones we’ve already met?

    I’m especially interested in how the two mothers have differed. I don’t know which of the moms I like more at this point. I know Mrs. Bennet does seem quite silly but we have to think about the time period. She has 5 daughters to marry off. FIVE! And no inheritance to give to them so it’s no wonder she’s so concerned with potential suitors. It also makes sense why she’s gets upset with Elizabeth’s behaviour since it makes it less likely that she’ll find a husband, which would not bear well for her future. I do wish we could see more of a caring relationship between them but I suppose finding them all matches is her way of caring. Meanwhile with Mrs. Dashwood, I did feel that she had a loving relationship with her daughters but sometimes her head would just be in the clouds and she’d act more immature than Marianne!
    Besides the number of daughters, I’m not sure how their situations differ. I get the feeling that the Dashwoods were better off but does anyone know for a fact? I have trouble working out the money they keep mentioning.

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    • Tisha Mitchell says:

      I keep getting Willoughby and Wickham confused! (Was that deliberate Miss Austen??)

      That’s a great question about the difference in situations. I googled it and somebody at Stanford has a list each character/ family’ wealth. Mrs. D and her daughters’ yearly income was £500. Mr. B’s yearly income was £2,000. I have no idea if this is true!

      Liked by 1 person

    • brennan45 says:

      I couldn’t help comparing the mothers as well!

      Mrs. Bennett is very concerned about getting her daughters married but she has to marry them off. When Mr. B dies, Collins will get the house and could kick them out if he wanted. She needs to find them advantageous marriages for her own peace of mind. Yes this makes her very conniving and calculating, even making Jane get sick to spend more time with Bingley. But she does it all from a good place.

      Mrs Dashwood on the other hand annoyed me when she wouldn’t ask Marianne if she was engaged in case it upset he for whatever. Like I’m sorry you live in a society where reputation means everything. Surely you would try and reign Marianne in if she wasn’t engaged (which she wasn’t) and try t protect her form the fallout. Instead of just wanting to be caught up in the fantasy of Marianne and Willoughby being engaged

      Liked by 1 person

      • brennan45 says:

        Firstly I would like to apologise for my atrocious spelling in my above post. Mrs Dashwood annoys me and I’m afraid I went on a little bit of a rant and didn’t even notice my terrible spelling 😅

        Like

  14. spines in a line says:

    Q10. Let’s talk about some characters!

    I really like Mr. Bingley! But with his introduction as a nice young man and how quickly he and Jane get on, I couldn’t help but think of Willoughby. I’m hoping for a much better ending than in S&S!

    The other Bingleys are something though, aren’t they? I really don’t like them but I’m still a little confused about some of their motives. I was happy (in a petty way, sorry) for the scenes where Caroline embarrasses herself in front of Darcy. Some small revenge!

    I’m not too sure what they’re doing with Jane though. Were they being nice to just save face? Since they don’t actually wish for a marriage between Jane and Mr. Bingley, it seems fruitless to form a relationship here. Are they so mean as to just do this to raise her hopes and dash them?
    In my opinion, I think they do actually like her, since she is considered by them to be the most respectable in her family. They’re not nice people but their friendship with Jane seems partly genuine, but I’m still on iffy ground with them.

    Like

    • Tisha Mitchell says:

      I totally don’t get it either. I mean who could not like Jane, but those ladies seem to have nothing in common with her! I wonder if they (or any of the characters) were based on anybody Jane Austen knew in real life?

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Sydney K says:

    Q1) I think my first Impression for alot of these character is that they are all flawed. None of them are perfect. THe mother is a piece of work, Darcy is an A$$ & Elizabeth is extremely judgemental.

    Q9) I completely understand where Charlotte is coming from when you think about what her social situation is and here is literally a guy handing a marrriage to whoever is willing. While I am more of a romantic than Elizabeth claims to be, i would not call Charlotte a Romantic nor do I think Elizabeth is because she chooses to judge as well. Iwould much prefer a love story akin to Jane & Bingley, they seem to be the real romantics of the story for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • thereadingrebel says:

      While I have always loved Jane and Bingley. I think that Darcy and Elizabeth’s bigger personalizes and more complex characters have always overshadowed the sweet kind Jane and kind good-humored Bingley. Elizabeth judges to quickly and I really connect with that as I make that error myself. I have never thought badly of Charlotte for doing what she did. Marriage was the only way and like you said here is a man just handing it to whoever wants it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Tisha Mitchell says:

      Yes! They are mostly all flawed. Most of them (except Jane and maybe Bingley) have either been too prideful, too prejudiced or too vain at one point. And what’s so funny is they talk about those characteristics an awful lot but they don’t realize they too are at fault.

      Liked by 2 people

  16. thereadingrebel says:

    Has anyone seen this or it just me? Elizabeth hates Mr. Darcy but for someone who hates him she spends I lot of time thinking and talking about him. I think she might at first has been attracted to him until he said that at the dance about her being not handsome enough to dance with. What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    • spines in a line says:

      Yes! I didn’t see your comment here but I just answered one of your earlier ones with the same idea. Although she doesn’t seem to like him, it’s certainly suspicious that she’d spend so much time obsessing over him. I got the feeling that she had only wanted to dance with Wickham at the ball so she could make Darcy jealous. I sense ulterior motives, Elizabeth!

      Like

    • brennan45 says:

      I think she is still hurt over his comment at the ball but doesn’t actually hate him. Maybe putting so much effort into finding something that makes him a bad guy to justify her dislike for him. And to try and soothe herself over his comment

      Liked by 1 person

  17. spines in a line says:

    With all the comments here on how Jane/Elizabeth’s relationship seems to be stronger/better than Marianne/Elinor, I’ve also liked the contrast between the Dashwoods and Steeles from S&S to the much more healthy relationship of the Bennets and the Lucases, at least between the daughters.

    I wasn’t sure from their first introduction whether it was going to be more of a rivalry like in the first book, but I was glad to read that Elizabeth and Charlotte have a genuine friendship.
    It’s nice that these girls can have friendships outside the family and not have any stress from faking their emotions as Elinor had to do.

    I do feel sorry for Mrs. Lucas though, with Mrs. Bennet’s constant bragging. From what we’ve seen of Mrs. Lucas, I don’t get the sense that she’s all that much like Mrs. Bennet so it’s not like two moms constantly trying to outdo each other but rather one that always feels superior. I was glad Mrs. Lucas got her moment with Mr. Collins’ proposal to finally give Mrs. Bennet a taste of her own medicine.

    Like

  18. spines in a line says:

    I feel at a bit of a disadvantage with this book because I’ve seen the movie so I do know the story fairly well. In reading some of the characters, I’m already suspicious of them because I know what’s coming. Also, I think it’s probably her most popular one so is there really anyone who’s never heard of Mr. Darcy?

    I wonder with people who are reading this for the first time and have never seen the movie – do you have any prior knowledge of the story?
    And to those who are re-reading – do you feel you’re losing out on the suspense of the story?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chanda says:

      There really is nothing like the first time reading a really great book, but I find that when I reread P&P I am looking at more than just the basic story. I like to find the intricacies that sometimes get missed in the first read. I like that P&P gets better with every read, at least for me.

      Liked by 1 person

    • brennan45 says:

      I knew about Darcy before I had ever read the book. I think because P&P is so popular that even I people haven’t read the book they have seen a movie or tv show based off it.

      I have never seen a tv or film adaption but I still knew about Darcy because I think he is the most famous Austen man

      Liked by 2 people

    • brennan45 says:

      I have never seen a tv or film adaption. But still new about Darcy before I read the book. I think he is the most famous Austen man and that P&P is the most famous Austen book with the most adaptions etc. So it’s nearly impossible to not know about Darcy unless you never go on the internet etc

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Tisha Mitchell says:

    I totally feel like I’m losing out on the suspense. I always get nostalgic when I hear somebody is reading P&P, Harry Potter or The Outsiders for the first time. I want that first time back. I think it’ll be impossible to find another first time read to equal any of these for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. tracey mandavy says:

    Q4. What is Charlotte’s opinion of marriage and courtship? What is Elizabeth’s opinion of marriage and courtship?
    Charlotte’s opinion on courtship and marriage is that at 27, non romantic and not very handsome its now or never really, it was all about the title etc., Charlotte felt that Mr. Collins was as good as it was going to get for her. Elizabeth’s opinion is quite the opposite as she is a head strong, witty girl who wants a man to fight for the affection, not someone with a title thinking that she’ll fold like a cheap tent when proposed to.

    Someone posted earlier about hoping that there were no girls out there like this today, sadly there is plenty of females out there admittedly a little older than Charlotte who settle for Mr. Right now as they see that the biological clock ticking louder and louder and figure if l don’t have a baby soon etc. its never going to happen

    Liked by 1 person

  21. brennan45 says:

    So I’m just going to say my thoughts from reading volume one. I’m telling you taking notes as I read has been the best life choice. I keep taking notes on my thoughts etc but I have noticed that any quotes that stand out to me I make note of them as well. (I have a separate notebook that I keep any book quotes that I like, relate to etc so I can reflect on them)

    Anyway I notice that Austen seems to open up her novels with the topic she is going to discuss. For S&S she opened it up by talking about inheritance laws whereas P&P opens up about marriage. So I’m like is this a hint of what’s to come? I am interested to see if she does this throughout the rest of her novels or not.

    I can see why the original title was “First Impressions”. First impressions means a lot in that society and indeed even in today’s society. Darcy made a rash judgement about Elizabeth but once he starts to know her and pay attention to her, he starts to like her. Elizabeth only sees him as the man who thought she wasn’t handsome enough to dance. I think this is a very important message about being carefully what you say because once you say something it’s hard to take it back.

    The ball at Meryton (not sure if that’s the correct spelling) introduces Jane to Bingley and Darcy to Elizabeth. I loved the easiness between Bingley and Jane there seemed to be an effortlessness between that highlighted there easygoing natures. That pair is contrasted with Elizabeth and Darcy. Darcy’s behaviour betrays his pride and sense of social superiority (although his opinion of Elizabeth changes within the first few chapters).

    Slight side note: Not gonna lie I did actually laugh out loud at Sir William who moved to ‘think with pleasure of his own importance’. I know a few people like that!

    There is an awareness of class differences. Darcy not wanting to have feelings for Elizabeth because of her low social standing. But it cuts both ways between Darcy and Elizabeth, the well born vs the socially inferior but both prove equally likely to harbour prejudices. Prejudice exists regardless of social class.

    There is a contrast with Darcy and Miss Bingley. Yes he is arrogant but he won’t join in her snobbish dismissals of Elizabeth and her family. Miss Bingley is the voice of society, criticising Lizzie’s middle class status and lack of social connection. Miss Bingley is just jealous of her and the attention Darcy pays to her. She can’t compete with Lizzie so instead brings up the class difference because it’s the only thing she is superior to Lizzie in- the luck of her birth. I think Miss B is like a parody of the man hungry, snobbish upper class women

    Liked by 2 people

    • spines in a line says:

      That’s really interesting about the opening of the book and something I didn’t notice from S&S! Thanks for pointing that out!

      I know prejudice is a big theme in this novel but I was surprised with how rude the Bingley sisters were about the Bennets and their family connections. I think in relation to the Ferrars, who never really publicly announced their disapproval and always hid behind this false mask, I just didn’t expect the Bingleys to be so forward, even if they never say these things in front of Jane and Elizabeth.

      Liked by 1 person

      • brennan45 says:

        Austen shows us the Bingley sisters gossiping and being rude towards the Bennetts but we never got that in S&S. Makes me wonder if we were a fly on the fly during the Ferrars discussions would it have been similar?

        The Bingley sisters confuse me so much. On one hand the gossip and critique the Bennetts lack of connections etf but on the other send Jane notes? We’re the gossiping before they knew her and have since changed their minds? Or are they just being two faced?

        Liked by 1 person

      • spines in a line says:

        I feel confused about them too. It seems like they do want to be Jane’s friend because of her beauty, etc. that make her seem like a higher class woman, but because of her family they can’t legitimately let themselves enter into this friendship, so they’re maybe feeling pulled in two different directions.

        Like

    • thereadingrebel says:

      I wouldn’t say they are not in the same class. Mr. Bennet has an estate worth 2,000 a year the same as Colonel Brandon. The Bennets have lower connections with an uncle in trade. The Bennets just seem to be on the lower side of the class. Them not having money and connections is what separates them from Darcy. Darcy and Elizabeth were both raised with the same rules and society. Everyone will say she hit the jackpot if they marry but she is still a gentleman’s daughter and he is a gentleman and that makes them equal in society and not a scandal to marry.

      Like

      • brennan45 says:

        In my head Darcy is part of the elite 1 percenters whereas the Bennetts are just like upper middle class.

        Elizabeth is ‘socially inferior’ to Darcy .Darcy himself says how he doesn’t want to act on his feelings for Elizabeth because of her lack of social connections. I don’t think it would be a scandal for them to marry but my comment is that they both have prejudices, regardless of what class they are in.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. thereadingrebel says:

    I could never understand Miss Bingley. She got all her money in TRADE and she is saying horrible things about Elizabeth and Jane’s uncle. You would be in that class yourself if you father hadn’t made his fortune.

    I have always wondered by Austen wrote in Mr. Hurst. Wouldn’t it have been more exciting funny if both the Miss Bingley’s were trying to catch Darcy?

    Do you think that Austen drew from the Palmers unhappy relationship to create Mr. and Mrs. Bennets relationship?

    I love the scene where Mrs. Bennet got into a fight with a young Lucas and the agruement ended only with the visit. I love Mrs. Bennet’s nerves they seem to be another character in the story.

    I do feel for Elizabeth have such a mother and sisters.Sometimes family is so embarrassing.

    Like

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