I bought myself a MacMillan Collector‘s Library edition of Jane Eyre in 2018. Cute little hardback…

Jane Eyre
by Charlotte Brontë

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I put my re-read of this classic on hold back then, I was not in the right mood for it.

My review from 2008: (pretty sure I read it before, but I could be delusional)

I expected to be bored. Classics usually do that to me. Especially, when I know the story already quite well through various movie adaptations. But this I liked quite a lot. I did a little skimming in the beginning and occasionally throughout the book, when it got a little too slow for my taste. Jane feels relatively modern and the language, although necessarily old-fashioned, wasn’t too stilted. I could have done without the episode with St John. That part of the book felt like a filler to me and I don’t remember seeing it in any of the various TV adaptations I have watched over the years.

Not such a successful classic read was Jane Austen. Quite embarrassing, probably, as everybody seems to love this book.

Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I give you this, written and posted first in 2015:

Maybe I would have been better off just watching that BBC miniseries. 12% into the book I was wondering what all the fuss is about. People meet for dances and have meaningless conversations about who could marry whom and which girl is plainer or prettier than the other. Really? Boring! Where is the plot?

Eventually I was skimming through more and more conversations that did not interest me, although some semblance of a shallow plot eventually emerged. 

At 25% I gave up. I didn’t care why Darcy is despicable or not or which daughter is going to marry what gentleman.

Out of curiosity I read the last two chapters and they left me just as indifferent. This may be a famous novel, but it went straight over my head. I did not connect with any of the characters and the descritpion of society back then just rubbed me the wrong way on every page. Not for me, sorry. Off to finally watch Colin Firth and to see if the story works better for me that way…

Now, in 2021, it might be time for another attempt? We‘ll see.

9 thoughts on “Classics

  1. I can see why P&P might not have worked for you. I think if I was trying to read it in print I might have gotten annoyed by it, too. I listened to an audiobook version of it, though, and that really worked for me.

    I love that edition of Jane Eyre!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oooo……it’s hard to say. I think if I *had* to choose it would probably be the 2011 movie starring Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, and Jamie Bell.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the benefits of reading Pride and Prejudice come up near the end, when Darcy (earlier cruelly rejected by Elizabeth) can’t help himself and ends up doing some noble deeds for her. Each of them manages to overcome “pride” and “prejudice” in looking at the other with fresh eyes. It’s also essentially a satire on marriage, really, the extremes to which one had to go through to catch a wealthy husband. I first read it when I was sixteen, so it was the right age for me to fall in love with Darcy, haha.

    As for Jane Eyre, despite the countless re-reads (and rewatches of the shows/ movies), I never get tired of this book. I really didn’t like St. John, but I guess he (and his coldness) exists as a counterpoint to Rochester (and his *love*)? Have you seen the 1996 BBC version as well, with Toby Stephens? I like that one best.

    Liked by 1 person

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