Looking for Pemberley?

Me too.  In fact, I have been looking for a while.

There are a few reasons that I chose to include Pemberley in the title of my blog.

I feel that Pemberley is significant to me and thousands, if not millions of others. It represents home, and it represents epiphanies. It was where Elizabeth had her AHA moment about Mr. Darcy, wasn’t it?

Reading Pride and Prejudice my freshman year of high school opened me up to the rewards of trudging through some maybe-not-so accessible language for a 20th century audience and long character descriptions, and was a pivotal moment in my life as a reader.

My first read took me about a month (partially because I re-read the first four chapters over and over and over trying to figure out which sister was which and why the new neighbor was so important), but after I was finished, I was exhilarated. I told all of my friends at school that the novel was amazing, and rented every P&P adaptation I could lay my hands on.

In high school, when other friends were out partying on the weekends, my best friend and I would geek out, rent an Austen adaptation and wallow in visions of the Edwardian period.  To us, the time Jane Austen lived in was brilliant and wonderful.

Many men seem baffled by this obsession with Austen. An ex-boyfriend once asked me, “why do you enjoy this so much? I mean, I can’t even understand what they are saying?” The answer was and always will be, (for me at least), courtship.

Courtship, you say? Yes. Courtship. The thought of having a man who attends social functions as part of his social manly duty, politely pursues you, and after your family is sure of his “intentions” really has to provide for you with an offer of marriage (albeit not always a happy one, but are they now?) or be called a cad for the rest of eternity seems pretty romantic when you are 16 and don’t fully understand the political contract of 18th century unions.

In high school, (and probably even in college), I would have given up anything to be wearing a bonnet and riding in a carriage with one of Austen’s characters. I don’t think this is unusual- check out the film Lost in Austen http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1117666/  for an entertaining parody of this desire (give it about a half hour to grow on you- it has a slow start).

I have fallen in, and out, and back in love with Austen’s world, but the love her most prolific novel inspired in me for reading, for human relationships, and for courtship, is a passion I will never stop looking for.

This blog is about my journey through life and literature, looking beyond Austen’s novels into text, media, and society for home and human connection.

Looking Forward to Blogging with you!

Cheers,

Miss E

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4 comments on “Looking for Pemberley?

  1. Allen B says:

    Emma,,
    Lovely; courtship, angst, eternal pining for the man you can love despite the fact that you are looking at a man you don’t. I can understand why this would start a love affair with literature for you. I want to tell you about my own experience, one that started a love affair with literature and a couple of real life ones on the side (don’t tell). I was a junior in college; I had of course been reading for years but I had never really fallen in love with a book. I took a modern lit course with one of the best professors I have ever been taught by. At the end of the course, she assigned Brideshead Revisited. I don’t care to talk about any of the religious mess that surrounds the book’s author, the point it, by the end of that novel, I knew that I loved Sebastian Flyte the way I had loved cocaine on my first try. Charles Ryder was another story, I fell equally in love with his but not nearly as hard. If Sebastian had been a drug, Charles was the friend who woke up next to me (or at least in the same room) explaining what I had done the night before.
    Too conceptual? I know, but look at it this way, They both loved, they both lost big, and they both were left damaged from the affair. A long history of badly chosen lovers and poorly executed relationships had taught me that being burnt by the fire could be as amazing as watching it’s flames dance. Brideshead and Waugh gave me that. I’ll be happy to look for Pemberley with you all, but I always keep an eye out for Sebastian and hope that some kind Charles will stop me.
    Happy Hunting,
    Allen

    • Allen,

      Lovely to hear from you. Thank you for sharing your encounter with Brideshead with us! I think my favorite line was “A long history of badly chosen lovers and poorly executed relationships had taught me that being burnt by the fire could be as amazing as watching it’s flames dance.” I would love it if you were a contributor on the blog!

      Cheers,
      Miss E

  2. Allen B says:

    My dear Miss E, I think I would be flattered.

    Thank you so much.

  3. […] and telling them. It’s probably also apparent that I enjoy reading, since I have discussed it on Looking for Pemberley fairly […]

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