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Monday, May 19, 2014

Pride And Prejudice And Pictures

In Jane Austen's classic novel, Pride And Prejudice, we meet two sisters, Jane and Elizabeth. One evening, they meet two friends, Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy, at a ball.

While Mr. Bingley immediately falls for Jane, it takes Mr. Darcy a while to fully appreciate Elizabeth.

Remember, Manga reads from right to left.

Pride And Prejudice overflows with all the color and majesty of English society in the early 19th Century. While Jane and Mr. Bingley sweep each other off their feet, by just being who they are, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy's romance follows a different path. Each undergoes a transformation, through which they understand aspects of themselves, their families, and their place in society in radically new ways.  It's the ultimate example of how two people can transform each other for the better.

Like TV adaptations and films, graphic novels may only convey a portion of the original story's riches. While I watched Jane Austen TV adaptations for over fifteen years, I never felt inclined to read her books. Then came the film version in 2005 starring Kiera Knightly, which cut significant characters, restructured major events, and transformed key scenes. My wife, who knew Pride And Prejudice backwards and forwards, hated it. But something in the film grasped hold of me, and finally forced me to read the novel. That positive experience led me to read two more of Jane Austen's novels. 

If you've enjoyed various adaptations but never read Austen's novels, you might want to check out UDON's Manga Classics adaptation of Pride And Prejudice. Perhaps the graphic novel will lead you to see her story in a new way. Perhaps it will even convince you that you're missing out on a rich experience by not reading Jane Austen's original prose. But hey, if you just come away having experienced a beautifully told and drawn story…well, what's so terrible about that? 

Dragon Dave

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