I’m so embarrassed that at the ripe age of 28 I read my first Jane Austen. Where have I been? When Erin found out, she told me to get a refund on my all-girls school education. I managed to escape Jane Austen on my summer reading lists (you know I actually did the required reading because that’s who I am). Once school was over, the classics seemed like something I should do– later.
For bigger trips, I’m trying to get in the mood with my literature choices. I read Under the Tuscan Sun on the way to Italy, The Old Man and the Sea for Cuba and Turn Right at Machu Picchu before Peru. Erin recommended I start with Pride and Prejudice. I wanted to read something British on my trip to London and it was perfect.
It’s hard to say exactly why, but I really loved P&P. There’s not a lot of action. Ladies in those days did a lot of gossiping and hanging out with their neighbors. Somehow I was still rooting for Elizabeth and Darcy even though they interacted maybe ten times. I don’t know how Jane Austen built up that kind of tension, but she had me. I read a 200-year old book for a few hours in a row on each flight.
After I finished it, I googled around for the symbolism and reading discussion questions. There’s a lot of good stuff on the internet, thank you high school lit teachers. The movie adaptations are now calling to me! I’m experiencing what everyone else was enjoying at 15, why did I wait so long?