If Emma is supposedly Jane Austen's most ingenious work, then Pride & Prejudice is at least her most popular. However, as much as I love this novel - and especially, as much as I love Elizabeth Bennet (so forward-thinking for her time!)...it simply cannot be my favorite Austen work. That "honor" lies with Sense & Sensibility ;)
The thing is, this book is definitely a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars, but it's not my favorite because it's just too happy. It's simply not as realistic as Sense & Sensibility...which leaves me with just a tiny bit more respect for that novel. I suppose this isn't much of a book review, because what is there to be said about Jane Austen's works that hasn't been said before? Pride & Prejudice is absolutely one of those books that everyone - and especially every woman should read once in their lifetime.
"'If a woman conceals her affection with the same skill from the object of it, she may lose the opportunity of fixing him...There is so much of gratitude or vanity in almost every attachment, that it is not safe to leave any to itself...there are very few of us who have heart enough to be really in love without encouragement. In nine cases of ten a woman had better show more affection than she feels.'"
"'When she is secure of him, there will be leisure for falling in love as much as she chooses.'"
"'I wonder who first discovered the efficacy of poetry in driving away love!'
'I have been used to consider poetry as the food of love,' said Darcy.
'Of a fine, stout, healthy love it may. Everything nourishes what is strong already. But if it be only a slight, thin sort of inclination, I am convinced that one good sonnet will starve it entirely away.'"
"'Nothing is more deceitful...then the appearance of humility. It is often only carelessness of opinion, and sometimes an indirect boast.'"
"'The power of doing anything with quickness is always much prized by the possessor, and often without any attention to the imperfection of the performance.'"
"'To yield without conviction is no compliment to the understanding of either.'"
"'There is, I believe, in every disposition a tendency to some particular evil - a natural defect, which not even the best education can overcome.'"
"'The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of either merit or sense.'"
"'You shall not, for the sake of one individual, change the meaning of principle and integrity, nor endeavor to persuade yourself or me, that selfishness is prudence, and insensibility of danger security for happiness.'"
"'There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises with every attempt to intimidate me.'"
"...where other powers of entertainment are wanting, the true philosopher will derive benefits from such as are given."
"...never had she so honestly felt that she could have loved him, as now, when all love must be vain."
"'Perhaps I did not always love him so well as I do now. But in such cases as these a good memory is unpardonable.'"
"'Will you tell me how long you have loved him?'
'It has been coming on so gradually, that I hardly know when it began.'"