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Marvel Illustrated: Pride & Prejudice s/c

Marvel Illustrated: Pride & Prejudice s/c back

Jane Austen, Nancy Austen & Hugo Petrus

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10.99

Page 45 Review by Stephen

I must confess I harboured a prejudice towards this of my own, based solely on the cover by Sonny Liu which has Elizabeth Bennet dressed as a late 20th Century American socialite complete with white power-blouse over a snug black skirt or, at best, slinky Hollywood dress. Wrong! The Regency style involved no blouses, but billowing dresses so grass-ticklingly long that, as Lizzy herself observes during the novel, they're a bugger when walking through mud. However, since the lesson of the book is to avoid "gratifying [one's] vanity, in useless or blameable distrust" (courting prepossession and ignorance is evidently more than a passing hobby for me), I have now looked inside to find that the five Bennet sisters have been visually reduced to the sort of air-brained, over-coiffeured, sneering American rich kids who'd appear on Beauty & The Geek and pull each other's hair out at the drop of a Tiffany tiara, whilst Mrs. Bennet, far from the fussing martyr of a mouse that I've always imagined, is now a buxom barmaid from Coronation Street or Black Adder III. Lord knows what Nancy's done to the text – I’m not prepared to endure that for you – so instead here's a slightly wayward summary of the original novel complete with SPOILER ALERT:

Laugh-out-loud comedy starring the delightfully playful sister to four other Bennet girls who takes a loving if lofty view of their crushes and gets each object of them wrong whilst failing to identify that she herself may also have fallen in love. Meanwhile her mother flusters about and her father occasionally looks up to undermine his dear wife with witheringly supercilious remarks that we really shouldn't find funny but do. Plus: cold Mr. Darcy is totally hot, and one of the many reasons that I'm jealous of Jonathan's middle name.

If you can’t précis Pride & Prejudice from memory then, really, what have you been reading all your life? Anyway, with due hindsight I can now confirm that Marvel’s version of EMMA is infinitely better, as is SENSE AND SENSIBILITY.

I will add with additional hindsight, however, that these are mere illustrations of the novels, rather than intelligent and affecting interpretations to comics like David Hine’s and Mark Stafford’s THE MAN WHO LAUGHS and Mazzucchelli’s CITY OF GLASS; or Rob Davis’ uproarious propagation of Cervantes’ original intent in DON QUIXOTE VOL 1 and, best of all, DON QUXOTE VOL 2. Just so we all have terms of reference.
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