If there is one thing that you should know about me, it is this: I tend to re-read books that I have already read. And each time it’s like the first time. One book that I absolutely love going back to without any shame is, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. I’m not going to dwell on the characters. You know it already. Rather, I will talk about the first time I read this book.
I was in 10th grade, and if you know anything about India, you’ll know that it is THE most important year of the average Indian student’s life. 10th grade is what O.W.L.S. mean in the Harry Potter world.
Anyway, I was in tenth grade and that meant I was not allowed to read any books other than my textbooks. Which would obviously mean that I would have had to smuggle novels into the house and hide them in the medicine cabinet in the toilet and read them when the rest of the house was asleep. Oh! I am telling you, the toilet is the best place in the whole wide world, to read a book during the darkest hours of the night.
I had just finished with the seventh and last book in the Harry Potter series and was on the verge of going into deep depression thinking that I had nothing else to look forward to. And then I had this chapter in History, which was about literature and this Jane Austen woman and her wit was mentioned. I was about to roll my eyes when I read the next line in my text-book which cited the opening line of the novel as an example of Jane Austen’s wit:
It is a truth universally acknowledged that, a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of wife.
I was thunderstruck. I will not say that this quote changed my life, or that it was like an epiphany to me. Honestly, I don’t think I truly understood the irony of this sentence until I was eighteen, when I re-read this book again. I am 21 years old now. To this day, there are just THREE opening lines that I know by heart:
#1 : It was the best of times, It was the worst of times … from A Tale of Two Cities – the first classic novel i ever read, and to this day this line has stayed with me.
#2 : the one I just mentioned before, from Pride and Prejudice
#3 : Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. From Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
So yea. I am girl who loves to re-read books. And Pride and Prejudice ONE among the many. And A Tale of Two Cities and Harry Potter series are right behind Austen. 🙂
- #32 Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen (the100greatestbookschallenge.wordpress.com)
- Pride and Prejudice tops teachers’ list of favourite books – see the complete top 20 (schoolsimprovement.net)
- Jane Austen, Love Her or Hate Her? – The Classics Club’s March meme (surgabukuku.wordpress.com)
- A Tale of Two Cities (wernermadness.wordpress.com)
- Happy World Book Day! Some Interesting Facts (interestingliterature.wordpress.com)