la vita di un angolo di terra diventa storia universale : Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice  initially had the title First Impressions (1796-97). It is the story of  the Bennets, a family of five daughters who live in a country village, at Longbourn. Near them the Bingleys buy an estate (= possedimento terriero). The first care (=preoccupazione) Mrs. Bennet has is to make his daughters marry  to  a rich man.

At a ball, Mr. Bingley meets and falls in love with Jane Bennet whereas (= mentre) Darcy, Bingley’s friend, feels attracted by Elizabeth, called Lizzie.  But he is too formal to accept a relationship with a girl of an inferior rank (= rango).  He even tries to separate his friend Bingley from Jane, making him going to London.  Meanwhile (= nel frattempo) Mr. Collins, the male heir (= erede maschio) of the Bennets’s house, comes to visit the family and to choose one of the daughters as his wife. He reveals his passion to Eizabeth, but she does not accept. So he addresses (= indirizza)  his offer to one of Elizabeth’s friends, Charlotte Lucas. She accepts, even if she does not love him. Elizabeth goes to visit her and at her home she meets Lady Catherine De Bourgh, Darcy’s aunt, and Darcy himself.  The gentleman reveals her his love, but she still feels too proud (= orgogliosa) to accept him.  Coming back home, Elizabeth discovers that Lydia has eloped (= è fuggita) with a young officer met at a ball, Wickham. The family do not know where the couple lives and feel ashamed (= prova vergogna) for this event.  Wickham is the son of Darcy’s steward (= governante)  and has revealed all the faults (= difetti) of the gentleman.  As a matter of fact (= a dire il vero), the officer is only a man that wants to inherit the dowry (= dote) of facoltous girls and has already disilluded (= deluso) Darcy’s daughter, Georgiana.  At the end, Darcy gives the couple the money to get married; Elizabeth discovers his gentle and generous nature and accepts his proposal and Jane gets married to Mr. Bingley.    

The intriguing and ironical story has offered sources both for other authors and for film makers in every period. In literature the most famed examples are Bridget Jones’s Diary (1996) and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (1999) by Helen Fielding (1958- ) made into film respectively by Sharon McGuire (2201) and Beeban Kidron (2004) . As to film adaptations the most popular and interesting are Pride and Prejudice, directed by Robert Z. Leonard in 1940 (screenplay by Aldous Huxley), and Pride and Prejudice directed by Joe Wright in 2005.