Day 399: Pride and Prejudice + Caruso CD 2

AustinBookCoverStill reading Jane Austen’s famous first work, Pride and Prejudice, and listening to CD 2 from the Naxos box set Enrico Caruso: The Complete Recordings.

Here’s an example of what I mean about Austen’s style:

“Aye, so it is,” cried her mother, “and Mrs. Long does not come back till the day before; so it will be impossible for her to introduce him, for she will not know him herself.”

Jane Austen. Pride & Prejudice (p. 5). Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Then, this:

“While Mary is adjusting her ideas,” he continued, “let us return to Mr. Bingley.”

“I am sick of Mr. Bingley,” cried his wife.

Jane Austen. Pride & Prejudice (p. 5). Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Then this:

“I would not be so fastidious as you are,” cried Mr. Bingley, “for a kingdom! Upon my honour, I never met with so many pleasant girls in my life as I have this evening; and there are several of them you see uncommonly pretty.”

Jane Austen. Pride & Prejudice (p. 7). Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

In each case – just a couple of pages apart – the person doesn’t merely say something: she/he “cried” out the words.

Why single that out? The use of such words give me the impression that Austen is overly dramatic, perhaps melodramatic in what we’d today classify as a Soap Opera-style way of writing.

But who am I to quibble? No one will remember what I wrote in 20 minutes let alone 200 years.