PATSY R. BRUMFIELD: Novels still cause for celebration

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

Gorious, glory this week – it’s the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.”
Some people will roll their eyes like, “oh, all that silly English romantic stuff.”
Far from “stuff,” this favorite and other Austen novels become extremely contemporary when you look at “her finely drawn, merciless but hilarious character assassination of middle-class girls with nothing to do but wait for love,” as The London Telegraph’s Katy Brand so aptly puts it.
I was a bit late coming to Austen, only with broadcast of the 1995 BBC P&P miniseries starring gorgeous Colin Firth.
Since then, I’ve become a fan of the Keira Knightley version, as well as other film versions of P&P and Austen offerings like “Sense and Sensibility” and “Persuasion.”
Frankly, I’ve got my own DVDs and bring them out on dreary Sundays once the NFL season folds.
They are just the most charming, idiotic, wonderful looks at English society of the time, but also with timeless characters and plots.
For collectors, the Royal Mail will celebrate P&P and other Austen works with a six-stamp set on sale starting Feb. 21.
For the real Austen-philes, all the doin’s can be found at
Ms. Austen, 200 years after your presentation of “Pride and Prejudice,” which you called your “darling child,” we continue to say thank you.
For P&P fans, here’s a little quiz to test your memory of the details. I must admit I made 100.
I also must admit I still get goosebumps just reading the answer to No. 8. I may be old, but I’m not dead!
1. Who is the Bennets’ eldest daughter? (A) Lizzie (B) Jane (C) Lydia (D) Mary
2. The story begins with the arrival of what bachelor? (A) Mr. Darcy (B) Col. Fitzwilliam (C) Mr. Bingley (D) Mr. Bennet
3. Why does Jane Stay at Netherfield Park for extra time? (A) Caroline Bingley urges her to stay longer. (B) Lizzie asks if they can stay longer. (C) She catches cold going there in the rain. (D) Her horse becomes lame and she can’t ride home.
4. According to George Wickham, what did Mr. Darcy’s father promise him? (A) A position as minister of a local church (B) The hand of Georgiana Darcy in marriage (C) Mr. Darcy’s inheritance (D) All of his wealth after he died
5. To whom does Mr. Collins propose after Lizzie rejects him? (A) Jane (B) Mary (C) Charlotte (D) Georgiana
6. What does Mr. Bingley do that upsets Jane? (A) Proposes to Lizzie (B) Makes rude comments about her family (C) Leaves Netherfield Park (D) Stops paying attention to her
7. Whom does Elizabeth meet again when she visits the home of Lady Catherine de Bourgh? (A) George Wickham (B) Mr. Darcy (C) Mr. Bingley (D) Her uncle
8. Complete Mr. Darcy’s famous proposal: “You must allow me to tell you …” (A) How very much I want to marry you. (B) How I love and admire you. (C) How ardently I admire and love you. (D) How wrong I have been.
9. How old was Georgiana when Mr. Wickam tried to elope with her? (A) 15 (B) 18 (C) 14 (D) 20
10. Why does Mr. Darcy say he split up Mr. Bingley and Jane? (A) He thought Jane was ill-behaved. (B) He thought Jane wasn’t truly in love with Mr. Bingley. (C) He wanted Georgiana to marry Mr. Bingley. (D) Mr. Bingley told him he didn’t love Jane.
11. What is Mr. Darcy’s first name? (A) Mark. (B) Charles. (C) Fitzwilliam. (D) Matthew.
Answers: 1. B 2. C 3. C 4. A 5. C 6. C 7. B 8. C 9. A 10. B 11. C
Goosebumps, indeed!
Patsy R. Brumfield writes a Thursday column. Contact her at (662) 678-1596 or

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