The April A to Z Blogging Challenge is a month long event where I, and more than 2000 other bloggers, will post every day of the month (except Sundays) using a different letter of the alphabet. The theme of my posts will be “What I Love About Pride and Prejudice.” Click the link above or the A to Z badge in my sidebar to visit other participants.
H is for Historical
I read all sorts of books. Of course I have my favorite genres, but I’m not opposed to anything that is well written and draws me into the story. I need a good story. That is what I always liked about history (save memorizing dates…ugh). History is really just “his” – “story” being told (or her story, but it doesn’t fit as well here).
When Jane Austen wrote Pride & Prejudice she wasn’t composing history. In fact, there wasn’t even much back story set up at the beginning of the book. What we learn of this fictitious family on the first few pages is that there are plenty of daughters who could benefit from marrying well.
In regard to real history or even events of the day, the only thing in the book that could lead us to take note of the French Revolution is the militia that sets up in Meryton. I would bet Jane Austen wrote this story as an escape from the troubles of the time. It is a light, love story that she used to entertain her family long before it ever saw publication.
Also, this was a contemporary story when it was written and first read (it feels strange to call Pride & Prejudice contemporary). It reflected the life of the landed gentry of England at the time. It is what Jane Austen knew. Now, we can use it to see how these folks lived in the 19th century.
Though it wasn’t her intention, in a way Jane Austen did write a history for us today. Only, it is more of a His and Her Story.
What are your thoughts on Pride & Prejudice as a piece of history?