Photos: Book Cover, Penguin Random House; Greer Garson, Marsha Hunt, Mary Boland and Maureen O'Sullivan in 'Pride and Prejudice' 1940. Photo: De Carvalho Collection/Getty Images; Marilyn Lightstone, Courtesy of Marilyn Lightstone
Marilyn Lightstone Reads Pride and Prejudice
The podcast host gives a dramatic reading of the 200-year-old classic about the fiery relationship between Mr. Darcy and Miss Bennet / BY Athena McKenzie / September 13th, 2021
Chances are good that even if you’ve never read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, you’d still be able to answer some trivia questions about the beloved novel.
There’s its famous opening line: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
Maybe it’s the fact that Colin Firth played the leading male role, Fitzwilliam Darcy, in the 1995 BBC production (which features that famous lake scene), as well as the role of Mark Darcy in the film adaptation of Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary (which was loosely based on the plot of Pride and Prejudice).
Or maybe it’s the recent news that a UK judge ordered a rightwing extremist to read the book, along with other classic literature, to avoid prison time.
While the court’s decision may seem absurd, there’s no denying the novel’s influence on modern culture. Published in 1813 after Sense and Sensibility, the book has never gone out of print. The novel of manners – which centres on the fiery relationship between Elizabeth Bennet, the daughter of a country gentleman, and Darcy, a rich aristocratic landowner – was the perfect showcase for Austen’s wry humour and keen social eye.
The enduring classic has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide and inspired numerous television and film adaptations. There’s also countless imitations and parodies – everything from contemporary rom-coms to a zombie mashup. Netflix recently announced another modern-day spin, The Netherfield Girls, with Canadian actress Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, the breakout star of Never Have I Ever.
Sometimes, though, it’s best to return to the source. Hear Marilyn Lightstone bring this classic to life on her podcast, Marilyn Lightstone Reads.