Posted on: 8/12/2023Book of the Month - December For December’s Book of the Month we are going back to 1813, and what I call ‘the OG rom com’, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1775-1817). Mr and Mrs Bennet belong to a social group known as ‘the genteel poor’, they have social standing but not a great deal of wealth, and no son to inherit what they do have, instead they have 5 daughters. It is imperative that they marry off their daughters to ensure their financial security and set about immersing their offspring in social gatherings to introduce them to eligible bachelors. 2 of these men are Mr Darcy and Mr Wickham. In this social satire featuring a big cast of characters, Austen weaves her way through upper class English society, featuring among it an unattractive suitor who will keep the Bennet estate within the family (Mr Collins), a melodramatic mother (Mrs Bennet), 2 cynical and intelligent sisters (Jane, and our heroine Elizabeth), a flighty teenager (Lydia Bennet), and a group of mean girls (Mr Darcy’s sisters). These characters could just as easily exist in a modern romantic comedy. This book may be more than 200 years old but it still offers a giggle, and a look into a time when writers were evasive about the provenance of an individual’s wealth (most likely slavery, see Said’s Orientalism), and women were essentially commodities.