Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
A Librivox full cast recording.

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Pride and Prejudice is a novel by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. The story follows the main character Elizabeth Bennet as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of early 19th-century England. Elizabeth is the second of five daughters of a country gentleman, living near the fictional town of Meryton in Hertfordshire, near London.
In this reading, Librivox volunteers lend their voices to dramatize Jane Austen’s classic and well-loved novel.

A few weeks ago, I spent a weekend in the Lake District with seven friends, where we ate great food, saw fabulous scenery, played a lot of games, and watched several films. One of those films was Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I thoroughly enjoyed the film, but definitely felt like I was missing out by not having actually read the source material, Pride and Prejudice. So I downloaded the Librivox full cast recording of Pride and Prejudice while I was watching the film, and started listening to it a few days later.

Librivox is a fabulous site, with classic, out of copyright books, read by volunteers and then made freely available to anybody who wants to download them. The list of volunteers reading for Pride and Prejudice was extensive, and the coordination and time dedicated to this recording must have been extensive. I was hugely impressed with how well it was put together, and thoroughly enjoyed not only the story, but also the listening experience. With the exception of one character, who set my teeth on edge, the entire experience was hugely immersive, and thoroughly entertaining. Cast list as follows:

Mrs. Bennet: Beth Thomas
Mr. Bennet: Andy Minter
Jane Bennet: Elizabeth Klett
Elizabeth Bennet: Arielle Lipshaw
Mary Bennet: Tina Danh
Catherine “Kitty” Bennet: GabrielleC
Lydia Bennet: BumbleVee
Mr. Bingley: John Fricker
Mr. Darcy: Peter Bishop
Charlotte Lucas: Laurie Anne Walden
Young Mr. Lucas: Beth Thomas
Sir William Lucas: Robert Scheid
Miss Caroline Bingley: Liz Bennington
Mrs. Hurst: Elizabeth Barr
Mr. Hurst: Barry Eads
Mr. Collins: mb
Mr. Wickham: Algy Pug
Denny: David Richardson
Mrs. Gardiner: TriciaG
Mr. Gardiner: David Lawrence
Maria Lucas: Maria Therese
Lady Catherine de Bourgh: Mil Nichols
Colonel Fitzwilliam: Ric F
Mrs. Reynolds: Esther
Mrs. Hill: Nadine Eckert-Boulet
Butler: Barry Eads
Mrs. Phillips: debolee

The story itself, of course, is a classic, telling the tale of (mostly) the two eldest Bennet daughters as they navigate society and seek husbands for themselves. Elizabeth and Darcy were particularly well-acted, and sweet, reserved Jane elicited every sympathy I had to give as she and Mr Bingley traversed their relationship together.

With Mr Bennet’s witty observations and Mrs Bennet’s overexcited reactions to everything, Elizabeth’s headstrong assumptions and Darcy’s sullen disposition, the only thing this book was missing was a gratuitous lake scene.

And zombies. I reckon it might’ve been better with zombies.

Four Stars
****

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One response to “Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

  1. Pingback: October Roundup | Much Ado About Books

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