Austen and I do not
get along. Overall this is a feminist nightmare where all of the female characters are driven by and obsessed with marriage and catching a man. The characters are pretentious and dull, much like the plot. I'll have to take others' word for it regarding this being a romance, there really isn't proof in the novel. I also cannot fathom the idea that this is referred to as comical by literary circles, perhaps that has more to do with the situations and the very specific early 1800s setting. But I don't care what the historical setting is, there simply is not a good story to be had here. Overall I cannot help but feel sorry for Austen if her real life inspiration led to this.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that myself and the 2 percent that rated this book one star (79% gave it 4 or 5 stars! WTF!) have pretty good company:
I especially enjoyed Mark Twain's opinion of Austen:
“I haven’t any right to criticize books, and I don’t do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can’t conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read Pride and Prejudice, I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”
Charlotte Bronte on Austen:
"Why do you like Miss Austen so very much? I am puzzled on that point. What induced you to say that you would rather have written 'Pride and Prejudice'...than any of the Waverly novels? I should hardly like to live with her ladies and gentlemen, in their elegant but confined houses."
And lastly, Ralph Waldo Emerson on Austen:
“Miss Austen’s novels… seem to me vulgar in tone, sterile in artistic invention, imprisoned in the wretched conventions of English society, without genius, wit, or knowledge of the world. Never was life so pinched and narrow. The one problem in the mind of the writer… is marriageableness.”