Tag Archives: Pride and Prejudice

My Name is Lizzie Bennet…and I’ve Invaded the Internet

By: Noelle Kozak

“It is a truth universally acknowledged” that Pride and Prejudice, the brainchild of nineteenth century novelist Jane Austen, has more than stood the test of time. It tells the story of the Bennet family and their five daughters, as they navigate through a world defined by marriage and social status. The main plot of the novel revolves around the relationship between main protagonists Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy as they overcome their ‘pride’ and ‘prejudices’ to ultimately understand each other and find love and happiness. It is a work that has been adapted many times to fit a modern audience. In this paper I examine how Pride and Prejudice translates into its latest adaptation, web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

In this fresh re-telling, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Bennet is characterized to fit a modern audience, in a story focused less on marriage and more on life goals. Here, she is a grad student who lives with her parents and two sisters as she makes a video about her life with her best friend Charlotte. Along with Lizzie, all the original characters from the novel are re-imagined for this adaptation which initially focuses solely on Lizzie’s point of view. However, in this version, Lizzie’s opinions are only part of the story as minor characters like her sister, Lydia Bennet, come center stage.

Austen’s original depiction of Lydia Bennet had been a character that most fans of the novel explicitly disliked for both her naiveté and choices that nearly ruined the lives of those around her. Within the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, this is not the case, as the series gives Lydia her own web series as well as an evolved characterization which not only fits a modern audience, but allows for another form of perspective.

This idea of a web series that develops through new media is a most interesting and original take on Pride and Prejudice. This study argues that The Lizzie Bennet Diaries does a excellent job of keeping the spirit of Jane Austen alive while expanding and building on her novel in creative and compelling ways.

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The Gathering of the Janeites

By: Noelle Kozak

Calling all Janeites, calling all Janeties! Pull out that regency wear, those worn and tattered novels and get your walking shoes in ready because this fall is sure to be exciting. From September 27-29, the members of the Jane Austen Society of North America will gather in Minneapolis, Minnesota for their annual convention and this year’s theme is ever so fitting— Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice …Timeless (JANSA).

It is most appropriate as the novel just celebrated 200 years in publication. JANSA of course is well aware of that and is taking every opportunity to craft a conference that is “that – like the novel – is engaging, thought-provoking, and diverting”(JANSA).  Though they are still working out the official details, this conference is exclusive to “JANSA members and their companions,” but promises to feature a great deal of interesting work, though the details have not been yet made public (JANSA).

According to the society’s website, the Janeites make a point to gather like this every year in either the United States or Canada. They call them their annual general meetings or AGM and each year the event hosts “dozens of lectures by Austen scholars and JASNA members, as well as special exhibits, entertainment, workshops, tours of the local area, and a banquet and Regency ball” (JANSA). For a super fan this sounds like a delightful opportunity for education and a chance to totally geek out about Jane Austen. Who would not want to attend a ball?

The copious amount of scholarly work that they feature within their journals Persuasions and Persuasions On-Line is work that has been presented at each yearly gathering( JANSA). The most recent AGM was held in New York, New York and was entitled, Sex, Money and Power in Jane Austen’s Fiction. This conference featured such paper titles as  Variations on a Theme: Openings, Closings, and Returns in Pride & Prejudice, A Sweet Creature’s Horrid Novels: Gothic Reading in Northanger Abbey, and Hierarchy and Seduction in Regency Fashion among many others (JANSA). As mentioned, these conferences are exclusive to members of JANSA, but before you think them snobs, JANSA points out that should outside peoples wish to become members it is really quite easy. All you need to do is go to their membership page and see which category best fits you (JANSA).  For lovers of Jane Austen who want to completely be absorbed in her world, engaging with this group seems like a most worthwhile experience.

Works Cited

“The Jane Austen Society of North America.” – AGMS. JANSA, 04 Jan. 2013. Web. 10 Apr. 2013. <http://www.jasna.org/agms/index.html&gt;.

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