14 February 2011 by Published in: Uncategorized No comments yet

Happy St Valentine’s Day, internet savvy Janeites.  Although not one to celebrate the day myself due to my spinsterhood state, I do not deny others the pleasure of radiating smugness at people who are not in a state of domestic bliss- or at the very least, some form of ‘relationship.’
To celebrate this most exploited of days, we Janeites three decided to keep our posts about love.

I would like to share a thought on what first taught me to love Jane Austen- Pride & Prejudice.

My first love was Elizabeth Bennet.  As the pages of P&P drew me closer to the characters, I began not only to be enthralled by the language, plot and subtext- I found Elizabeth was my literary soulmate.

It’s a cliche, I know, that all girls relate to Lizzy Bennet and I don’t deny that there are probably women (or men, JaneiteJournal is not sexist, for all Miss Warburton’s posts would have you think we were drooling harpies) elsewhere in the world who feel a more profound, deeper apathy with Miss Bennet than I, but personally, nothing can compare to the connection I made with her on that fateful first reading.

Lizzy was everything I was and everything I wanted to be; she was not the prettiest, the best or the cleverest- not a paragon of virtue.  She was an attainable goal, a sister in feeling and in thought, and for all Mr Darcy captured my heart as well, my affection for him does not compare with that for his bride.

Although I often wish I was not so outspoken, headstrong or indeed obstinate, I still view Lizzy Bennet as the ultimate heroine; flawed and imperfect, but utterly accessible in every way.  I love her the best, even whilst striving to like sensible Elinor and steady Anne much more, and emmulate their respectability.  I loved these characters, but I do not connect with them in the same way.  They are a constant reminder of everything I should try to be, whereas Lizzy cheers  up and reassures.

Lizzy has gotten me through some tough times- without her I would not be the person I am today; I would not be as content, not knowing that there is a happy ending out there for the flawed, foolish girls of the world.

My spinsterhood state may account for the fact that my heart truly belongs to Pride and Prejudice, namely its heroine, Miss Elizabeth Bennet.

And indeed I owe this ardent love to Jane.

Happy Valentine’s Day Miss Austen, and thank you.

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