This year, the 1995 Pride and Prejudice turned 20. With any celebration of this kind, there are the usual retrospectives, interviews, reunions, etc.
Published late last year, Jessica Long’s new book, Pride and Prejudice: Your Backstage Pass to Jane Austen’s Novel and Making of the BBC TV Series Starring Colin Firth takes the reader behind the scenes of this now classic miniseries.
I purchased this book, hoping to get some information that I had previously not known before. I did not expect a blow by blow account of the filming. Nor did I expect a tabloid style book containing previously unknown scandalous secrets that have been locked away for two decades. What I received was an extremely skinny book containing information that any experienced Janeite would be aware of. The book is fine for anyone who is new to the world of Austen’s novels and the filmed adaptations of the books.
My problem with this book is that the writing is extremely dry in an almost Wikipedia kind of way. Not that there is nothing wrong with Wikipedia (I use it all the time for various reasons), but for a book like this, I expected the writing to have a little life in it. Granted, Ms. Long is writing as a fan without access to anyone who was actually attached to the production, but to be honest, I felt cheated. Other than a few cosmetic facts, the information in the book can be found easily online.
Do I recommend it? Unless you can get it for free via the library or via an e-reader, no. If I could go back and not pay for it, I would.