Pride & Prejudice

I have FINALLY finished “Pride and Prejudice!” The group of readers from my exercise group decided that we needed to read one of the classics, and this is the one we settled on.
I really enjoyed “Emma,” the production with Gwyneth Paltrow, and “Sense and Sensibility,” with Emma Thompson. Both of those productions helped me to set a sense of cadence in the language, and the form of interaction that was acceptable early in the 1800s. I thought I’d be able to breeze through “Pride and Prejudice,” but it was slow going.

I know it’s considered to be one of the all time best books in the English language. I also know that it’s shallow of me to feel that there was a lot of unnecessary verbiage. Maybe I need to return to high school and review the manner in which novels should be interpreted, because I must have missed Austen’s intentions.
I know that “Pride and Prejudice” is a search for self. I know that position was a major concern in the Regency period. What I don’t understand is why a book that amounts to an early romance novel is so much more acceptable than a well-written romance novel of our day.
I’ll admit, the story grew on me, but the first half of the book was so slow I was tempted to put it down at the end of every scene. At the point where Lizzy refuses Darcy, and he writes a letter to her, the plot picks up.
Lydia seems to be a bit of a stretch. I find it difficult to believe that she could have grown up in a family which observed the social conventions, but chose to totally ignore them. All of us understand the mores of our time, and what is considered acceptable behavior. Flaunting her indifference to those mores not only marred Lydia’s reputation, but that of her family, and she apparently had no remorse.
Okay….enough. I might as well save it for the book group so I only have to do it once. I suppose you could say that it was my PRIDE that kept me reading, and that I am PREJUDICED where this book is concerned.