What are men to rocks and mountains?

Summary – The marriageable Bennet sisters navigate a maze of gossip, manners and impending poverty as they attempt to find (or evade) a suitable spouse.

The Perfect Drink – Make yourself a nice hot cup of Lady Grey tea to drink as you read Austen’s most famous novel. The fresh citrus flavours of bitter lemon and orange peel cut through the smoky Earl Grey base, distinct but complimentary. It’s a perfect accompaniment to a novel in which characters initially clash, but ultimately find harmony.

The Perfect Snack – We suggest a Summer Pudding made with late summer fruits, served with a jug of fresh cream. The pudding is sweet and yielding with bursts of tartness from the berries – juicy raspberries and blackberries, sour blackcurrants and redcurrants. The sharp fruit will complement Lizzie’s biting wit and spirit, so ready to pierce the mannered world of gentility she inhabits. A Summer Pudding is luxurious, decorative and elegant, but it’s also frugal, a way to use up stale bread. It’s a good fit for the Bennets, who must navigate their financial problems in the attempt to marry their daughters into wealth and status.

The Perfect Place – We don’t see Pride and Prejudice as a bright and cloudless summer read like Emma. The urgency surrounding the marriages of the Bennet sisters, Lydia’s near disgrace with Wickham, Charlotte Lucas’s marriage of necessity to the pompous Mr Collins – all these suggest the dark potential of a society obsessed with marriage, a society that Lizzie and Jane are lucky to navigate with success. It’s a novel that ends happily while hinting at an undercurrent of darkness and desperation. Pride and Prejudice is therefore best read in late summer or early autumn, when the days are getting shorter and there’s a chill in the air, but there’s still plenty of warmth, greenery and light.

How would you read Pride and Prejudice? Let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you.

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