The Page Turner: “Jane Austen brings love to life”

In Arts & Entertainment, Columns

“The person, be it a gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid,” said Jane Austen in her novel “Northanger Abbey.”

Austen’s novels have had a prominent existence in the world and in my own life. I first discovered Austen and her wondrous talent for writing when I saw “Pride & Prejudice” as a young girl in the form of the popular television mini-series based on the famous novel, starring the incredibly handsome Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy.

I had the absolute pleasure of viewing Cal State Fullerton’s version of “Pride and Prejudice.” As I watched the actors perform, I was suddenly struck by how much I truly admire Austen and her expertise in storytelling. Austen’s novels have it all: charm, wit, drama and most importantly, an incredibly enchanting romance in which love always prevails.   

“Pride and Prejudice” is my favorite Austen novel. I can quote the entire proposal scene without shame and I never get tired of seeing adaptations of it. I can go on and on about the deep love and connection I have for Mr. Darcy, but that would take up 10 full newspapers.

Austen has published many successful books other than “Pride and Prejudice,” many of which were adapted into plays and films including “Emma,” “Sense and Sensibility” and “Persuasion.”  

If I had to suggest another one of my favorite Austen book’s besides “Pride and Prejudice,” it would definitely be “Northanger Abbey.” This particular novel carries a more gothic feel, which I love. I recommend the book wholeheartedly to anyone who wants to endeavor in the absolute joy ride that is an Austen book.

All of her works have such incredible and unique writing that grasps the heart of the reader. There is such a sophistication and elegance to the way characters communicate with one another in Austen’s works. As I was watching the play at CSUF, I enjoyed observing the mannerisms of the time in which the stories take place. I truly adore the respect women are given in the stories, from a man kissing a woman’s hand, to how a gentleman would “court” a woman.

If by some miracle I was to travel into an Austen novel, I would be jumping up and down with pure joy.

The dialogue in her novels is so carefully scripted and well written that even to this day, her work remains extremely popular and prominent. This is not just within the hearts of her readers, but also within the media.

One of the facts about Austen’s life that saddens me to this day is that even though all her novels involve gripping love stories, she never got married. When I discovered this, I was shocked.

Austen emphasized in a letter to her niece the importance of not marrying if there was no affection, making it obvious that Austen believed in love.

I feel that is why Austen has had such an inspiration in my own life. Of course, her novels are what drew me in, but it’s her outlook on love that really made me admire her. Love prevails in her novels, regardless of a person’s stance in society or misfortune.

Her novels show that love is simply beautiful. A quote from her novel “Love and Friendship”: “The very first moment I beheld him, my heart was irrevocably gone,”  shows that love is innocent and pure. Austen’s books make me look forward to love and allows me to delve into a world where it is of the utmost importance.

Austen is still recognized today, from film and play adaptations, to societies and groups that celebrate her memory. The Jane Austen Society of North America is an example of one of the delightful groups that commemorate her talent and influence.

Austen will always have a place in the world and her talent will always be recognized as time goes by. If one hasn’t had the true pleasure in reading one of her novels, I highly recommend it. There is no greater pleasure than sitting down with a book and delving into another imaginable world, and Austen herself said it best.

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” Austen said in her novel “Pride and Prejudice.”

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