Pride and Prejudice: The Original 1813 Edition (Jane Austen)
This straightforward book cover I have chosen to review is the Pride and Prejudice: Original 1813 Edition (Jane Austin Classics). This cover was different from many of the others to pick from. Instead of having scenes from the book drawn on the cover like dancing at a ball or flirting with a man, it's just one woman standing on the side of a road. It may not seem like much but it has a whole nother meaning. Jane Austen chose to take a stand against the perception of women in the 1800s by choosing to make Lizzie a strong woman who knew her worth which explains why just Lizzie would be on the cover.
Women in the 1800s had a constant fight; always trying to be perfect to find a wealthy man. This cover dedicates itself to the women in Pride and Prejudice. Always needing to be put together and on point. The expensive dress is the center of attention with her feather hat perfectly placed on her head. Even though she is walking her dog she still has a flawless posture in case a man were to see her. She gives a dreamy appearance which contrasts with her background. There's a pot of yellow and blue flowers right in front of her complementing her dress bringing colors out. Green is the main theme of the cover which signifies money and wealth; which is a main feature in the book. In the back is a shiny silver gate that looks well polished. Not to forget the giant white mansion in her background. This as well exemplifies fortune and aspiration for a profitable suiter. It's unique to have this woman on the cover, Jane Austen wrote as a background to her book, “During this time, women were conceptualized as delicate goddesses, placed on pedestals, and worshiped. They were romanticized in every sense of the word (Austen, 2002). ” These women were made to wear uncomfortable clothing just to always look pristine and presentable; all that just to take a dog for a walk. This cover shows what it's like to be a woman in the 1800s. Having to be put on a pedestal and always look put together wherever you go. Women had very few rights so she was forced to abide by these social standing. A woman's reputation was the most important thing for her to live for and that's why the cover is of Lizzie, one of the strong women in the book.
When first looking at this book cover before reading the amazing Jane Austen's, Pride and Prejudice, I believed it was about women in the 1800/1900s and possibly how their lives were at the time. However, I was taken for a whirlwind by the drama and spite that occurred in the book. With marriage over love, as Charlotte would say, “Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance (Austen et al., 2016),” and women being objects to men. However, Jane Austen was known to reject the norm of women surrendering to men and chose to make Lizzie a confident woman who didn’t take shit. This is why it was so important to have a woman on the cover. It's as if Lizzie is taking a stand and making herself the center of attention and leaving the men in the dust. Not allowing a man to be on the cover with her. Jane Austen didn't let the original perception of women shine through instead she had the women stick up for themselves and go against women being inferior. Lizzie knew her worth and didn't take Mr. Darcy’s crap. This is why showing only Lizzie on the cover is the perfect representation of the book.
Pride and Prejudice shows an accurate representation of the times while taking her own spin on how women are betrayed. Yes, the women are still excessively trying to find a man to marry however most are portrayed as smart and knowing their worth. There was one of two who fell to the feet of men, like Lydia, but Lizzie made up for it by making Mr.Darcy work for her time. The color green signifying wealth, Lizzie being perfect head to toe, and the glamorous rich background, all wrap up Pride and Prejudice nicely and shows the power of women.
Austen, J. (2002, March 15). Women in pride and prejudice - WHS HBL Jane Austen. Google Sites: Sign-in. Retrieved from https://sites.google.com/site/whshbljaneausten/women-in-pride-and-preju…
Austen, J., Gray, D. J., & Favret, M. A. (2016). Pride and prejudice: An authoritative text, backgrounds and sources, criticism. W . W . Norton & Company.