Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Classic Is A Classic

I read a question once, What constitutes a classic book? My short answer would be a book that has endured the test of time and has remained a beloved favorite for many. "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen has been rekindled recently in new films and also new books based around the writer Jane Austen. I find it wonderful that the 21st Century woman still loves Jane Austen and her books, we have not detached, nor outgrown ourselves from her and her time, that we cannot relate somehow to her. I have a friend that has a beautiful and well researched blog @ , this blog is of course about all things Jane Austen, I highly recommend it! I read the book "Confessions Of A Jane Austen Addict" by Laurie Viera Rigler last year and I decided to re-read "Pride and Prejudice", but I wanted to read a different copy than I already had, something a little different. I read "The Annotated Pride and Prejudice" of course by Jane Austen but annotated and edited by David M. Shapard. For every page of the story, you have a page of explanatory notes. When I finished the book I felt I had taken a mini study course on Jane Austen and her times! There are many words that the 21st Century American, such as I, do not use, such as; chamberlayne meaning a servant, breeding( to me that has something to do with horses)but it means good manners, and toilette(I know what that is) but what it meant then was the process of dressing. This was a re-freshing book, I made a wise choice in selecting it!
Masterpiece Theatre on PBS, starting this sunday the 13th of January, will begin presenting the first of 6 of Jane Austen's novels, including 4 new adaptions, Persuasion will be be shown this sunday, don't forget the popcorn!!


cathy b. said...

Wow, a reason to watch TV!
Your list of special words reminds me of my grandmother. (she had a great use for the word "cunning" - she used it for a word I detest: cute) Of course she never said chamberlayne because she was American after all.
I would love to get an annotated Middlemarch some day.

Ms. Place said...

First, thank you for your kind words about my blog. Second, I agree with your critique of David Shapard's annotations. His book is so informative and a MUST for all Janeites. I hope you have been enjoying PBS's The Complete Jane Austen.I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to watching Pride and Prejudice this Sunday.