Surely you’ve heard of Bridget Jones’ Diary. It’s the acclaimed novel by British author, Helen Fielding, and in 2001, it was made into a film starring Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant. Both the book and the film were huge successes. Bridget Jones is the main character and the author and narrator of the story. She is a frumpy but trying to be chic, man-obsessed, thirty-something singleton living in London, and in the story, she recounts her often deep dives into alcoholism, inability to stop smoking and eating cakes and bonbons and of course, her boyfriend exploits. Throughout the book, she’s convinced she’ll never find love, but wouldn’t you know that by the end she’s found it at last. Her new love is tall, dark and handsome, successful, morally responsible, kind, mature and rich. His name is also Darcy. Sound familiar?
If you haven’t realized it already, Bridget Jones’ Diary is a direct adaptation of Jane Austen’s famed romance novel, Pride and Prejudice. This novel is the original romance and the original love story. The protagonist is just a little bit more “put together” than Bridget Jones. Her name is Elizabeth Bennet, and she is the second oldest daughter in a line of five girls. Her best friend is her older, kind, thoughtful and extremely gorgeous, Jane. Unfortunately, the rest of Elizabeth’s family is a bit of an embarrassment, namely, her mother and three younger sisters, who are boisterous, flirtatious and unrestrained.
The story takes place in the early 1800s in England, and at this time in British history, women were at a distinct disadvantage. If their family didn’t already have money, they were forced to find suitable husbands who did. The problem was that marrying up in society was almost never done, and you were lucky if you found a man who would marry you as a lower member of society. If you didn’t, you would be at the mercy of others for the rest of your life, because of course, women of the middle class and up didn’t work at this time. Elizabeth and her sisters were middle class, but their mother hoped that they could snag rich men.
When Elizabeth first meets the extremely rich, tall, dark and handsome Darcy, she is kind to him, but he doesn’t return her kindness. This prompts Elizabeth to detest Darcy. As the story progresses, however, an their paths cross again and again, it seems that Darcy has back-tracked and is falling in love with Elizabeth. Darcy, who is proud and has a prejudice against the lower classes is torn in his decision to ask Elizabeth to marry him, but would the equally proud Elizabeth accept his hand anyway after his behavior? The rest, as they say, is history. If you enjoyed this book review, check out more romance books at NoQStore Malaysia, and lose yourself in more stories of love.