For reasons that will become clear in the near future, I've been rereading Pride and Prejudice, probably one of my favorite works of literature, bar none.
I wanted to highlight this particular edition because it's the Story Grid Edition…editor Shawn Coyne (of the Story Grid podcast) has gone through the book in order to point out all of the story-related elegance that is Jane Austen.
If you're a writer, you NEED this book.
If you're not a writer, but you've never read Jane Austen and dislike those fusty old high school lit tomes–you need this book, THIS edition of the book, to be exact.
Have you seen the movie, or perhaps the BBC mini series? If you have, you may have wondered that the screen version seems fresh, funny, and relevant, while the book may have seemed dense and hard to get through. We've all had that experience of trying to swallow “required reading” at school that is as dry as dust. I don't personally put Jane Austen in that category, but don't get me started on Melville or even Dickens (and Dickens isn't THAT bad…but it's still long-winded and hard to finish).
Shawn Coyne's internal notes and chapter end notes will get you laughing and nodding as you see that Jane Austen, far from being a prim old maid, is a diabolical wit. Time and again, he points out references in the text that I hadn't quite thought of–like how Mrs. Bennet and her wayward daughter Lydia are very alike, and how the Wickham-Lydia romance seems to parallel the disastrous older Bennets. I never thought of that, but OF COURSE…!
This would be a great edition to assign a high school class of disinterested readers, if you wanted to convince them to pick up classic literature on their own. Maybe Shawn Coyne can be convinced to do this for Jane Eyre, or even better yet, Bleak House.