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Pride and Prejudice Episode VI: The Half Blood Prince

16 May

Pride and Prejudice 1995

We’ve made it to the end! It only took me almost two years to actually finish watching it but I have finally watched the entire 1995 Pride and Prejudice BBC mini-series.  It’s been a long journey, there have been two Fast and Furious movies, and at least 5 seasons of The Voice.  Anyway now that I am back on track I’m going to continue to write something every week.

We pick up in this episode where the last ended, with Mr. Wickham agreeing to marry Lydia for an unknown sum of money (presumed to be paid by Mr. Gardinder).  Mrs. Bennet has entirely forgiven/forgotten any transgressions and is ecstatic.  Every one else in the family, not so much.  Wickham and Lydia come back to Longbourn and Wickham tries his best to lay the charm on everyone but Lizzy is not having it.  She subtly lets Mr. Wickham know that she knows about him and his past and does not approve.  Lydia manages to be a huge cunt and piss off everyone.  It really is as if she ran away and got married simply to rub it in all her sisters faces.

Mr. Bingley returns to Netherfield!  All the Bennet ladies are pretty stoked even though Jane tries to play it off that she doesn’t really care.  We see a cool scene with Mr. Darcy telling Mr. Bingley that he kept it from him that while he was in London Jane was also there.  Bingley is mad but gets Mr. Darcy’s blessing in him pursuing Jane.  Mr. Bingley immediately goes to see Jane and Miss Bennet slowly makes the daughters leave so they can be alone.  Lizzy and Kitty are excited, Mary gives zero fucks.

Part 6 - Mary Zero Fucks

Next we get a surprise visit from Lady Catherine De Bourgh to Longbourn.  We have seen Lady Catherine being terrible before but this is truly her shinning moment.  She begins by insulting Mrs. Bennet and everyone in the house and asks Lizzy to take a walk with her.  On their walk we find out the actual reason for her visit.  Unknown to Lizzy she had been told that Mr. Darcy was to propose to Lizzy.  Lady Catherine wanted to confirm and shut this down.  Now it wouldn’t be Lady Catherine if she hadn’t done this in the most insulting and demeaning fashion possible.  Seeing as Lady Catherine is being the biggest bitch imaginable Lizzy toys with her a bit before finally admitting that she is not actually engaged with Mr. Darcy.  When Lady Catherine tries to make her promise to reject any proposal that Mr. Darcy might make in the future Lizzy refuses.

Part 6 - Picture 2

Lizzy has her most gangsta moment her and tells her “You have insulted me in every possible way, and can now have nothing further to say.”  aka, bitch be gone.  Lady Catherine has a huge hissy fit and leaves.  Apparently she brought her daughter along with her who looks like she is going to die at any moment.

Part 6 - Picture 3

After this Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy make a surprise visit to Longbourn and decide to take a walk into town.  Mr. Darcy makes one last attempt to Lizzy and asks if her feelings are the same as they were or if they have changed, if they have changed he will not bother her again.  Lizzy confesses they have and that she loves him!  They become engaged and Mr. Darcy gets Mr. Bennet’s permission.  Mr. Bennet is concerned since he believes Lizzy hates him but Lizzy assures him she is in love with Mr. Darcy.

Part 6 - Double Wedding

Also in attendance to the wedding is Mr. Bingley’s sister who’s resting bitch face is amazing.

Part 6 - Resting Bitch Face

Every one is in attendance of the wedding with the only exception being Lydia and Mr. Wickham and Lady Catherine and her deathly daughter.

Thoughts

Mrs. Bennet’s ability to forget what just happened is pretty amazing.  Mrs. Bennet goes from Lydia being the worst and ruining the entire family to her being the model daughter.  Mr. Bennet at least is still pissed and although the drama is over, will likely hate Mr. Wickham for the rest of his life.

Lydia is the worst.  She has at no point learned from her mistake or what the effect of her actions could have had on her sisters.  She not only doesn’t feel bad but is actively bragging and boasting about her marriage to all her sisters.  It seems like her only goal in her entire marriage was to rub it in her sisters face.

Lady Catherine is amazing in her ability to be a cunt to everyone.  I don’t think she has the ability to feel empathy for anyone but her self.  The wedding scene was pretty satisfying when it showed a shot of every one in attendance and then cut to Lady Catherine and her daughter alone in Rosenings, where the pair will assumedly die alone.

Part 6 - Picture 6

In the end I liked a lot of things about this version of Pride and Prejudice.  Being that it is 5-6 hours long as you would guess they don’t leave anything out.  They also include a lot of other moments that weren’t in the book or in the 2005 film version.  I liked the thoroughness and I liked seeing things through some of the other character’s perspective.  I think that the performance of Lady Catherine and Mr. Collins was the best I’ve seen so far.  I felt that the performance of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy was great but not as good as the 2005 Film.  If you are a big Pride and Prejudice fan this mini series is for you, and likely you have already seen it.  If you so-so fan then you might want to avoid this version.  It is very long and honestly the story of Pride and Prejudice just doesn’t require 6 hours of material.

There were really some stand out moments but overall it felt more like a chore to watch the entire series than it was sometime I really got into.  If you want to watch it the entire series is available now on Amazon Prime for members, however it is no longer available on Netflix streaming.

Drinking Game

  • When Mrs. Bennett is terrible and ungrateful
  • Whenever Lydia is a cunt
  • Anyone plays a piano
  • Mrs. Bennet mentions the Collins
  • Every time Mrs. Bennett Winks
  • Lady Catherine is a cunt
  • Miss Bingley’s Resting Bitch Face
  • When they say fornication and cut to Lydia during the wedding
  • Pour one out when you see Lady Catherine and her Daughter die alone at the end
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Pride and Prejudice Episode V: Fast Five

10 May

Pride and Prejudice 1995

This episode starts with the meeting of Lizzy and Georgiana Darcy.  Mr. Darcy’s feelings come out through this meeting as Georgiana is unaware of any of the arguing or awkwardness between them.  She only knows of Lizzy what her brother has told her and it is clear he speaks of her in nothing but the highest regards.  Lizzy adores Georgiana and once again gets a view of the life she could have had with Darcy if she had married him.  A weird thing during both meetings between Lizzy and Georgiana is that they are basically wearing the same outfit both times.  I don’t know if this is on purpose or if there just wasn’t that many options back in the day.

Part 5 - Same Dress Collage

During their second meeting after Lizzy leaves Miss Bingley starts talking mad shit about Lizzy and tries to get Mr. Darcy to join in.  Mr. Darcy has none of this and says that Lizzy is one of the most handsome women he’s ever set his eyes on.

Part 5 - Miss Bingley's Resting Bitch Face Skitch

Lizzy then gets a letter that Lydia has took off with Mr. Wickham and set to scandalize the entire family.  Mr. Darcy happens to come by right after she hears the news which Lizzy tells him and is very distressed.  Darcy assumedly goes off to go find him and see if he can help but Lizzy takes this to mean he is disgusted with her and her entire family and that her chances with Darcy are now completely over.

Lizzy goes back home and suggests to Jane that Lydia’s behavior isn’t only going to hurt them going forward but was the cause of her relationship with Mr. Bingley drying up.  Mr. Bennet later comes home after trying to find Lydia in London with no luck.  What they know now is that she is with Wickham and the two are unmarried and presumably have no real plans to actually marry.

Mr. Collins comes to the house after hearing the news.  When Kitty sees him she takes off wanting nothing to do with him and later on is watching from the window which was hilarious.  This Mr. Collins scene could very well be the greatest moment in the entire series.  He manages to insult them to such a level that at one point I started to think it was art.

Part 5 - Photobomb Kitty Skitch

Lizzy finally suggest that since they are so ruined and terrible that Mr. Collins should probably leave as to not tarnish his own reputation.  He agrees and is thankful for her concern of his reputation and takes off.  Next we get a letter from Lizzy’s aunt and uncle that Mr. Wickham will marry Lydia for a portion of her inheritance when he dies and a small yearly sum.  Mr. Bennet knows that his brother must have paid a lot of money to make such terms possible.  We know who the real savior was but we don’t find out until part 6.

Thoughts

In the book and other versions so far Mr. Bennet has been a real bitch.  He still doesn’t know what to do and often uses humor to defuse serious situations.  In this adaptation however we got to see a side of him I had never seen before.  Once he gets home without Lydia he is determined to do better and prevent his other daughters from making the same mistake.  He apologizes to Lizzy for not listening to her and he accepts responsibility of letting Lydia go while knowing how uncontrollable she is.  I thought this was cool and it was good to see a version of Mr. Bennet that actually learns something.

Since her engagement confrontation with Darcy Lizzy is now fully aware of what others think of her family and is trying to stop them from destroying them selves.  Her awareness though could cause a lot of strife between Jane and her sisters if she’s too caviler about this.  When Jane comes to talk to her about what she meant when she said that Lydia’s behavior is causing much more damage than she is seeing she quickly covers up and deflects the question.  I think this was good of her and that Jane knowing that her chance with Mr. Bingley was ruined by her sister would only cause Jane more pain and anger.

Lydia, Lydia, Lydia.  Lizzy is only a few years older than Lydia but there is an ocean of common sense that separates the two.  Lydia naivety that Mr. Wickham’s intentions are pure is amazing.  She doesn’t even consider that something could be wrong or that the effect of her actions could have on her other sisters.  She just wants to go out and about with her shiny new beau and doesn’t once stop to think that it is odd that he won’t let her go out side or stand too close to the windows.

Drinking Game

Part 5 - Ghost Darcy 2 Skitch

  • When Miss Bingley is a bitch
  • Mention of nerves
  • When Lizzy say’s “I shall never see him again”
  • When Mr. Darcy has none of Miss Bingley’s shit and walks out
  • Ghost Darcy
  • Lady Catherine is mentioned
  • When Mrs. Bennet hits her Smelling Salts

Pride and Prejudice 1995 Episode I: The Phantom Menace

21 Jul

072113_2151_PrideandPre1.jpg

Here we go…

This begins my five part series on the Pride and Prejudice mini-series from 1995 starring Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy and Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet. This is generally considered the pen ultimate version of Pride and Prejudice with the Colin Firth being the best version of Mr. Darcy

My first impression is that it did not need to be so long. I am only on the first episode which ends with Elizabeth and Jane leaving Netherfield after Jane has recovered from her cold. So that means we have had introductions and the first two dances and then the extended stay of Jane at Netherfield. It felt a decent pace so far but I can’t imagine how they stretch the entire story over four more hours.

As the general consensus of the people being that Colin Firth is the ultimate Mr. Darcy I am leaning to agree. He does a good job of not showing too much expression during his scenes but also to have that look that he is constantly absorbing and deconstructing everything around him. I don’t quite like Jane in this version as much as I do Keria Knightly in the 2005 film version. I initially didn’t like the actress who plays Elizabeth but she’s growing on me as I was watching, however she doesn’t quite hold up to Keria Knightly. The Bennet sisters did a great job and the actress who plays Mrs. Bennet also did a great job. In this version you get a better sense of how odd and improper the entire family is. Mrs. Bennet immediately starts hating on Mr. Darcy and has a pretty awesome passive aggressive bitch out moment at Netherfield that is awkward for everyone. Lydia and Kitty are even more boy crazy in this version to the point of being obnoxious, especially at the party hosted by the Lucas’s. Mary was really well cast in this version and there is a particularly good interpretation of the piano scene with her in it. Rather than her playing at the Netherfield ball she is playing at the Lucas party and it’s her own sisters who insult her and ask her to play something else. Mrs. Bennet even joins in and it looks like Mary is about to cry before Mr. Lucas has to step in to defuse the situation. It’s a good example of how Mary is proper and boring but also how improper the rest of the family is especially in front of other people.

I really liked Charlotte Lucas in this version as well. She warns Lizzie early on that if Jane wants to get with Bingley she’s got to act even more interested than she actually is or he’s not going to know. Knowing how things end up later on if she had taken Charlotte’s advice it would have meant a lot less heart ache later on.

The portrayal of Mrs. Bennet is very interesting in this version as well. She acts a lot more improper and offensive which is more in line with how the book describes her. She not only makes an ass of herself at the Lucas party but also really lays it in deep on Darcy when she comes by to visit Jane. She knows that He’s slighted Lizzie at this point but goes much further than a little sarcasm and straight insults him. It’s a lot easier to see in this version why Darcy had thought so low of the Bennet family initially the way they are acting now. Mrs. Bennet also straight tells Jane that she wants her to take horse back so she will get sick due to the rain. That was a strange choice of her to actually tell Jane of this rather than it be part of her “master plan”. Another strange choice was that during the scene in which Miss Bingley and Jane are walking around the drawing room while Darcy is reading. Instead of him giving both explanations on why he would rather sit and let them walk around (so they can talk amongst themselves and so he can stare at that ass) he only mentions the staring at that ass portion. For such a long miniseries it seems odd to cut that part, which now just makes Darcy look like a creeper.

A minor thing that I liked was they mentioned at the Lucas’s party why the troops were there. I don’t remember them mentioning that in any other version, and it playing such a big role later on, it was nice to have at least some explanation.

Overall some of the attention to detail you get in a 5 hour miniseries is nice but it feels entirely too slow. We have so far only gotten up to Jane’s stay at Netherfield in an hour and there is just so much more to cover. The book isn’t entirely that long and doesn’t need this Lord of the Rings style over kill version.

Drinking Game Rules

  • Every time Mrs. Bennet talks about her “poor nerves”
  • Every time there is a direct quote from the book that isn’t dialogue
  • Whenever Mr. Bennet makes a sassy remark about how dumb his daughters/wife is and how smart Lizzie is
  • Whenever Lydia/Kitty mention officers, dancing, or attending a ball
  • Whenever Miss. Bingley makes a snide remark about how awful the Bennet’s are
  • Every time Darcy says something nice about Lizzie
  • Take a shot when Lizzie jumps in the mud

Happy Birthday Pride and Prejudice!

29 Jan

Pride and Prejudice just turned 200! yay! In honor NPR posted this delightful cartoon which might be the quickest adaptation of Pride and Prejudice that I have been able to check off the list. Link

Fifty Shades of Pride (A Darcy Interlude)

16 Oct

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single respectable woman in possession of no fortune must be in want of a wealthy husband. It is not even slightly acknowledged, however, that some single women know how unlikely it is to find one.”

Before we can really talk about the amazingness that is this mash up of 50 Shades of Grey and Pride and Prejudice we have to talk about nerds for a minute.  Nerd has for a long time has been a negative connotation, when you thought of nerds you thought of tape on glass, pocket protector, calculator watch nerd classic.  It seems like it’s all ways been around and nerds have been getting swirlys in movies for as long as I can remember.

Being a nerd is actually cool now.  Ever since Al Gore lifted Mjölnir (Thor’s Hammer) and created the internet nerds have been connecting with each other and sharing their nerdom and celebrating it.

That being said there are still a few things which their level of nerdom is high and so ingrained that you will be ostracized in public by even fellow nerds if you mention them.  These things harken back to the olden days of nerd where there was a deep sense of shame and embarrassment about being  into the thing you were in to.  And fairly enough the two are divided pretty well across gender lines.  The first, which is generally attributed to guys, is table top gaming, aka dungeons and dragons.  There is no way around this, people will make fun of you to your face and there is simply no way you can ever talk about this without looking ridiculous.  The second, which is generally attributed to ladies, is fan fiction, aka creating original stories based on other people’s material.  You may not even be aware this is a thing but it is and there are hundreds and thousands of web pages devoted to this.  Lots of it is pretty innocent and simply stories about harry potter’s kids, or what happened after star wars.  But then there is a whole genre of erotic fan fiction where shit gets out of hand.  What would happen if Ron and Harry hooked up?  Google it, it’s out there.

PS: the male equivalent to writing erotic fan fiction is being like a Dexter serial killer.

And that brings us to the main event, Fifty Shades of Pride (A Mr. Darcy Interlude) By Anna Smith.

I was going to avoid trying to go through the massive amount of Pride and Prejudice fan fiction that is out there but when I saw that there was an erotic 50 Shades of Grey Pride and Prejudice mash up that was only 40 pages and free on amazon prime, I couldn’t say no.  First off I haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey so I have no idea how it fits into this story, but if it’s anything like how Pride and Prejudice fits in (none at all) then I’m not missing out.

It starts off sort of like real life Pride and Prejudice where out new heroine, Emily and her friend Charlotte? (I can’t remember the friend doesn’t show up again), is at a ball where she meets Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley.  Instead of her over hearing them talk about the women in attendance like in real life P&P Emily over hears Darcy and Bingley talking about some whores they plowed the night before.  Which I don’t think little girls who dream of Darcy being their dream man imagine him plowing a bunch of whores.  But after he talking about banging whores Emily over hears Darcy mention how he doesn’t want to dance with any women there and how they aren’t tolerable, just like in real life P&P.  Also there is another guy at the ball who wants to marry Emily named Dr. Samuelson who is super boring and no one likes and sounds exactly like Mr. Collins.  So like we literally are all Pride and Prejudice set up at this point with a few different names and Darcy fucking a bunch of whores.  Then we basically abandon all Pride and Prejudice connection from hear out.  Emily owns a hunting lodge which Darcy is going to stay at.  She was going to stay with her friend Mary while he’s there but all of a sudden her plans fall through with Mary and she has to stay at the hunting lodge.  It’s pretty big I guess since she just hides from Darcy and his friends that are hunting and pretends to be a serving girl.  Well one night she goes downstairs to get a book (her uncle has a lot of erotic books) and Darcy catches her.  She leaves but he knows she was going to read erotica so the bait is set.  Next night Emily is cold and goes by the fire downstairs and Darcy joins her and one thing leads to another and they go to pound town.  After that it’s just a series of her sneaking down stairs so her and Darcy can bone.   After a while Darcy has to leave and asks her to come with her on a trip (some more sex happens here as well).  Emily decides to cut her hair and pretend to be a boy so they can travel without cause a stir.  She does, they bone, and then they take a tour of Paris.  They just bone a lot here, blah, blah.  Then Darcy gets a letter about his sister being in trouble and has to leave at once (we are to assume this was the instance with Mr. Wickham from real life P&P.  Since the ball we have completely ignored real life P&P and just been boning).  Darcy asks her to wait for him as he takes care of this and Emily gets a letter that her uncle that left her the hunting lodge also forgot but left her a bunch of money so she can now live a lifestyle of traveling and such and not worry about money, the end.

So the book is really oddly paced.  At first it is straight up scene for scene playing out like real life Pride and Prejudice.  Even to the extend where Mr. Darcy makes some pride full comments that Emily overhears and that there is a Mr. Collins that wants to marry her.  They even retool the opening line from real life Pride and Prejudice.  But they drop all of that all most immediately once they get to the cabin and it’s just going to pound town.  We get a little more Pride and Prejudice at the end but it’s a pretty loose “interpretation”.  So I don’t read a lot of “romance” novels so I don’t know how these things typically go but our hero is completely inexperienced in sex and Mr. Darcy has to show her the ropes.  She starts out as a virgin and goes from kissing Darcy to boning in 4.5 seconds.  It seems like this is probably a common theme in romance novels because it doesn’t make any sense in relating to Pride and Prejudice.  Emily is portrayed as a strong black woman, figuratively speaking.  Her parents are dead (guess?) and she owns a house that she rents out and employs a lot of servants.  She has a lot of real life responsibility and doesn’t take shit (she breaks a vase on one of Darcy’s friends who tries to assault her).  However she is completely passive in her own sexuality in besides having read some erotica.  Mr. Darcy is basically in charge of her learning about all her own sexuality.  None of the other characters really matter in it, they show up but you have pretty much forgotten about them by the time the next boning session takes place.  One thing that stuck out to me was that the servants are still basically non-people just like in real life Pride and Prejudice.  We hear some about how Emily is poor (owns a working lodge and all, but still) and how she is going to have to run this lodge all her life and how sad that is.  Yet there are several people that live and work to run the place who we aren’t supposed to feel sorry for?

There are actually two Pride and Prejudice / 50 Shades of Grey fan fiction books in ebook format that you can read.  The other one probably isn’t good either so if you want to read one this is probably the one to get in that its short so at least you won’t waste a lot of time.  It’s been interesting reading someone fan fiction (erotic fan fic at that!) but I don’t really get the appeal.  It probably would have been a lot worse if there had not been the constant fucking.  I’ll try to review more Pride and Prejudice fan fiction but honestly there is just so damn much and it takes a lot time so I’m probably going to stay away from it.

Pride and Prejudice Book I: Pride Hard

25 Sep

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

This is the first sentence of Pride and Prejudice and at 10,460 highlights is the second most highlighted sentence of any book on kindle (in case you were wondering which I’m sure you were, the number one most highlighted sentence is from book two of the Hunger Games Series, Catching Fire, “Because sometimes things happen to people and they’re not equipped to deal with them”, has 17,784 highlights).  It is the kind of statement you would expect to find in a quirky handwriting framed on a wall on pinterest.  Right away it’s as if Jane Austen is saying, “guys you may consider sitting this one out because we are about to go balls deep in some serious girly girl territory”.  And thus begins our journey of Miss Elizabeth Bennet.

Book one of Pride and Prejudice includes chapters 1-23 and roughly ends on page 125 depending on which version of the book you are reading.  We are introduced to our cast of characters and the namesake central cases of both pride and prejudice occur.  The hero of our book is Miss Elizabeth Bennet who is the second eldest daughter of the Bennet family (consisting of five girls).  The book starts off in the town of Hertfordshire with the young bachelor Mr. Bingley moving into the nearby house of Netherfield.  Mrs. Bennet (Elizabeth’s Mother) is all about this news and more than a little excited to dump off one of her daughters to the highest bidder.  A ball is thrown and some prideful statements are made by the rich friend of Mr. Bingley and some prejudice begins to develop in our hero.  Elizabeth’s older sister Jane falls for Mr. Bingley and with some sneaky planning by her mother winds up spending a few days at Netherfield where their love begins to develop.  Their cousin stays for a lengthy visit in which he proposes and is shut down by Elizabeth.  Mr. Bingley throws a ball himself in which the entirety of the Bennet family makes an ass of themselves.  We meet Mr. Wickham who has a mysterious falling out with Elizabeth’s antagonist Mr. Darcy.  And finally Elizabeth’s cousin, Mr. Collins proposes to her best friend (the day after proposing to Elizabeth herself) and the two are engaged.  To wrap it up, as Elizabeth herself states in chapter 20, “Some ill shit has just gone down”.

If you are a new reader to Austen (or in my case someone who has read her work but it’s been a while) you are going to need to adjust to the speech of Pride and Prejudice pretty quickly.  This book was written in 1813 and we are in some stage 5 Downton Abbey shit.  All the insults and comments are going to be spoken in the most respectable fashion and the slightest of missteps can mean a world of punishment.  Class and caste are extremely important in this society and everyone knows their place and the place of those around them.  The speech and mannerism of the book so far are the greatest draw but I can see how they could also be the largest inhibitor to those not prepared.  The way that the ladies of Meryton speak to each other is truly an art.  Every word spoken is done so carefully to ensure that no disrespect is detected even when one is laying down insults to someone to their face.  The kind of precision you Dexter use as he cuts open a serial killer you see from the ladies as they put a bitch in her place.  In this day and age of real housewives flipping a table and screeching “fuck you bitch!” like a harpy straight out of hell, this subtleness and cleverness is very much a lost art.  If you can handle the floweriness of the speech and the arguments that occur having little actual weight you are going to enjoy the shit out of this book.

Only 23 chapters in (roughly a third) I am pretty bought in on the whole thing and there hasn’t even been a central conflict or story yet.  The closest thing I can think of off hand that it has compared to so far is reality tv shows, such as real housewives or keeping up with the Kardashians.  Now before you Jane Austen die hards with a vengeance burn me at the stake for equating classic literature with  the shittiest of what we as a human race have produced hear me out.  The Bennet’s are portrayed in this book as being “poor” when by any standard of today they would be considered upper upper middle class while their friends who they do consider rich would be considered by us to be super rich.  The problems and day to day activities by these people I can only assume were not shared by the vast majority of people of that time period and the “problems” that they run into are what we would call today as “white girl problems”.  That all being said what has made this book great so far is that it is super entertaining to see rich people be catty to each other and complain about shit!  There are entire TV channels dedicated to this very concept!

So I tried to generally discuss what has happened to this point in the book so far but there are some things that will need to be discussed in more depth.  First we reach the namesake part of the book in which our main antagonist Mr. Darcy makes his “pride” remarks.  While at the first ball in Meryton Mr. Darcy does not dance with any of the ladies.  This might have been excused but Elizabeth overhears him talking some shit about the ladies at the ball.  He states to Mr. Bingley (page 18) in regards to why is isn’t dancing,

I certainly shall not. You know how I detest it, unless I am particularly acquainted with my partner. At such an assembly as this it would be insupportable. Your sisters are engaged, and there is not another woman in the room whom it would not be a punishment to me to stand up with.

Mr. Bingley replies, “Oh! She is the most beautiful creature I ever beheld! But there is one of her sisters sitting down just behind you [Elizabeth], who is very pretty, and I dare say very agreeable. Do let me ask my partner to introduce you.

Darcy responds with, “She [Elizabeth] is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt ME; I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me.

All of which Elizabeth hears (unknowingly to Mr. Darcy) and, understandably so, doesn’t leave a good first impression and begins her prejudice against Mr. Darcy.  Her true prejudice against Mr. Darcy occurs on page 78 when Mr. Wickham tells her about how Mr. Darcy’s father had intended to give him a healthy living and the after his death Mr. Darcy denied him this and kick him out on his ass.  Elizabeth believes his story since she all ready thinks of Darcy as an asshole and tells the whole town so then soon too think Darcy is an asshole.  These two exchanges (from what I can tell so far) are the main misunderstandings that lead to the bad blood between Darcy and Elizabeth that is the central theme of the book.

The other big event that happened in this section was the visit from the Bennet girls cousin, Mr. Collins.  I plan on having a whole post in which I will in better detail the greatness that is Mr. Collins but if we need to mention his dual proposals that take place.  The interactions with Mr. Collins bring to light some of the more interesting parts of 1800’s society England.  Mr. Collins has an Entail to the Bennet home of Longbourne, which means that because there is not a male heir for Mr. Bennet that once he dies the property will go to Mr. Collins.  This means that if he dies at sooner rather than later that Mrs. Bennet are all the unmarried daughters will be out on their ass.  It is assumed that Mr. Bennet doesn’t like this agreement but it seems to be some provision that is in the deed of the property and he can’t change it if he wanted to.  Mr. Collins feels guilty about this and wants to marry one of his cousins (first cousins at that!) in order to make up for it.  Mrs. Bennet is all about this plan and is will to marry off any if not all of her daughters in order to secure her living at the property.  Mr. Collins initially decides on Jane but on discovering she’s got the hots for Mr. Bingley goes for Elizabeth who he then is immediately in love with.  Elizabeth turns him down and the next day he proposes to her best friend Charlotte and the two become engaged.

This was an awesome and also at times strange part of the book.  Again I will go into it in more detail later, but the exchange between Elizabeth and Mr. Collins is awesome.  He is an idiot and it’s great to see the verbal gymnastics Elizabeth must take in order to turn him down in the nicest possible way.  It is also strange to see how things worked in the 1800’s.  Mr. Collins is basically part of Lady Catherine’s entourage and she is paying for his home and livelihood to just have him around as entertainment.  It’s really weird.  Mr. Collins mission in life is to basically keep in good favor with her so she will support him.  His whole mission of coming down to Longbourne to marry his cousin is started because Lady Catherine told him he should find a wife.  Because Lady Catherine said so he really has no choice and come hell or high water he has to come back to her engaged.  It seems like an awful way to live but again it shows that the actually rich in this book hold an immense power and people will respect them no matter how good or bad they are simply because they are rich.  It also comes up in the exchanges of this part of the book how the Bennet family is poor.  They have servants, the father is a lawyer, and they have what looks like a huge estate but are still some how poor in this society.  Its interesting and cool to see this weird different society and how it worked.

My impressions at the end of Book I are good.  At the very least I don’t think this whole process is going to be as painful as it would be if I wasn’t enjoying the book.  This is the first time I read it and was expecting I would enjoy it based of how I felt about the 2005 movie but you never know.  The main plot is going to be between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth.  I know what happens in general terms from seeing the movie, but going off of what I have read alone so far the main conflict / story hasn’t presented itself yet.  So far we have had a lot of exposition, catty girls, and gossip (which has been awesome) so I am looking forward to what happens in the meat of the book.  I have really like what I have read so far and look forward to what is going to happen in Book II.