Happy Birthday, Pride and Prejudice!

happy birthday wallpapers  (1)Hello friends.  Long time, no write.  There are many things I want and need to discuss here on the ol’ blog, but those need to be put on the back burner for the time being, because today is a day for celebration!  You see, exactly 200 years ago, on January 28, 1813, Pride and Prejudice was published for the first time.  Obviously, despite harsh criticisms from the likes of Ralph Waldo Emerson and many others, the novel has endured, and continues to resonate with readers today.

pandpDespite my tendency toward more contemporary books, I do have a little space in my heart and head for the classics, and Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorites.  I have to admit I’m a fan of Jane Austen in general; she was so ahead of her time, her writing was intelligent, funny, and filled with social commentary, and she wrote strong, unconventional female characters, which is always important to me.  Elizabeth Bennet is, of course, one of those characters, and while she undoubtedly has flaws, her strength of conviction is something from which we can still draw inspiration today (plus, you know, she likes to read, and isn’t obsessed with marriage, and is an all-around cool girl).

netherfield-ball-backs-of-dressesThe fact that this book was written in the 1800s, yet still has experiences and feelings with which we identify and themes to which we can relate, is definitely something to be celebrated.  So what should we do to celebrate?  I’m glad you asked!  Obviously, the best possible thing would be to throw a P&P-themed party; you know, something along the lines of the Netherfield ball, with handsome men in period dress, lots of dancing, and plenty of ribbons.  If that’s not quite up your alley, though, here are five OTHER ways you can celebrate 200 years of Pride and Prejudice:

1. Learn something new.  David Shapard, the author of The Annotated Pride and Prejudice, shares 12 things you probably didn’t know about everyone’s favorite birthday novel.

2. Listen to some great tunes.  Tweetspeak has come up with a P&P-themed playlist for this illustrious occasion.

janeaustencookbook3. Cook something Lizzy and Darcy may have enjoyed.  Go grab a copy of The Jane Austen Cookbook and pick out a tasty 19th century delicacy, like chicken with tongues or pheasant a la braise, to try.  Don’t forget to share with your friends-they’ll be thrilled to be included.

4. Buy YOURSELF a present.  I mean, we all love Jane Austen, but let’s be real: she won’t really benefit from any cool gifts we send her way.  So treat yourself to some fun P&P merchandise.  BookRiot has even compiled a helpful list.

5. Watch The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.  Full disclosure: this is kind of an obsession of mine.  I know Pride and Prejudice has been remade and reimagined so many times, but seriously, this webseries, which retells Pride and Prejudice through vlogs made by 24 year old communications grad student Lizzie Bennet, is AMAZING.  And Darcy? Totally swoonworthy.  If you love P&P, I guarantee that LBD will not disappoint.  I’ll just leave this first episode here for you to watch at your leisure…

Ok.  I’ve given you everything you need to to throw Pride and Prejudice the bash it deserves.  So go celebrate! (and make sure to let me know if you do anything particularly awesome.)

P.S. If you haven’t read Pride and Prejudice, I’m not sure we can be friends.  Did you know you can get it for free online, for your ereader, or at your library?  No excuses-go read it!