Jump to content
Big Library Read Big Library Read
RichardListener

Similarities and Differences in the Retelling of Pride and Prejudice

Recommended Posts

For fans of Pride and Prejudice, I thought it might be interesting to detail similarities and differences between Lacy William's retelling and the original.
 
From reading the book sample preview earlier, I'd noticed that the character's names generally correspond, but with different diminutives (Elizabeth/Lizzy=Liza), and Austen's "Bennet" surname has been changed to the more comfortable modern "Bennett" spelling.
 
Janie (Jane in P&P), is refused the use of the buggy by her mother to visit the Bingleys. She has to ride her horse, as in the original, but, rather than getting sick from a chill, she has finds herself in a much more serious accident.  (The sample ended here, but I'm betting on a rescue, and a stay-over, based on how Austen's novel proceeds.)
 
I am looking forward to things that other readers spot.  If there is a difference, perhaps we can speculate why the narrative was changed in the retelling.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
heathera    1

Just starting the book, I enjoyed the shop ownership for the stage of Maude Bennett's gossiping and mouthiness. I also enjoy that Liza won't stand for it already and plans to talk to her father about it. The business aspect will certainly be more substantial than just a "tarnished reputation" or gossip. I am interested in seeing how their cousin plays a factor in all this.

Other than the names, I also found Darcy's sister having a respectable job being a welcome change. 

Yes, the accident was much more serious. Her arm being dislocated or possibly broken, the near-drowning experience. I enjoyed that Liza was being recognized as a good horsewoman and rider rather than a strong walker. 

More similarities and differences to come. This post will be very enjoyable. Thank you!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KTF    1
Posted (edited)

So, I had a nagging concern that something was amiss when Liza gestures to her 3 sisters early in the book...but it took until page 277 for me to realize Mary is missing. Hee. What does that say about her as a character? I enjoyed the less irritating Collins and a seemingly happy Charlotte. Charlotte deserves to be happy!

Edited by KTF
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sharla    0

I've been reading for a little while now. The similarities and differences are very apparant. It is great to see Liza so outspoken from the start and her and Rob have more interaction from the beginning. Janie is just as timid as Jane in the original, however, I get the impression that she will stand up for herself if need be.  

Another difference is that Mr. Collins is already married to Charlotte. It appears his personality is the same. I'm really enjoying the book so far. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sharla    0

Another difference is that Mr. Bingley is not from being born into a very rich family. He's wealthy by an inheritence from a father he never knew because of an illegitimate birth. He and his sister are not close because of this as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sandymom    0

The thing with giving Darcy's sister that position is that you take away some of the conflict between him and Wickham...unless it's brought in in a different way. I also thought it was interesting that Mr. Collins was already married when we're introduced to him. I wonder how that's going to influence the story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like heathera, I was interested in how Elizabeth's best friend Charlotte's marriage of convenience to cousin Mr. Collins in the original would be handled in "Cowboy Pride".  It seems that in "Cowboy Pride" Charlotte is a new aquaintance, and Mr. Collins has been upgraded from an unctious twerp to a solid businessman, and a friend of the family.  I'd be interested to know why the sub-plot of Elizabeth's friendship with Charlotte and Charlotte's decision to marry someone she didn't love was sidestepped.

I always felt that Mrs. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice was given a raw deal by Austen's narrator: ("She  was a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper."), when it seemed that she was a woman of pretty good emotional intelligence from the things she actually said and did in the novel.  This was  England's Regency period, after all, and Mrs. Bennet would naturally be worried sick about how her daughters would survive without an inheritance or independent income. 

In "Cowboy Pride" just about everyone is down on Mrs. Bennett, including her daughter, and I am finding her a much less likeable character.

In both books, her fit of pique in refusing the use of the buggy to Jane/Janie was a real stopper.  In the original, I put it down to a momentary lapse - a loss of temper in an otherwise loving family.  In "Cowboy Pride" it seems to be right in character.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love all these comments on the differences between the original and this retelling. One thing you have probably noticed is that Cowboy Pride is much shorter than P&P. Because of the length, I had to reduce some characters (poor Mary!) & subplots. I can't wait to see what else you notice!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LisaS    0

Really great book, could not put it down. I found many similarities to current characters within P&P. I had always thought of Jane as very wholesome and the twist that she would be the first one to get into a scrape was surprising. I do not believe I heard her side of the story - but perhaps I missed what happened. Mr. Collins being married upon arrival was also something unexpected. 

What happened with Darcy's sister that he felt so responsible for that caused her to marry so young? Was it that he did not understand women and she worked too hard on the ranch? Or did I miss that as well?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok. After the first read through (I usually skim, then "cherry pick" sections, then reread in entirety) here's what I see. (But have probably missed lots).
 
First, "Cowboy Pride" is part of the "Wild Wyoming Hearts" series and, as such, this novel has to be consistent in the setting and characters with the series.  It is constrained by having to be a romance that can be read between life's interruptions and is further limited by its length -- about half of Pride and Prejudice.
 
Rather than reading it as an attempt to replicate P&P, I decided to view it as a sequel to "Marrying Miss Marshal",  but spiced up with characters and plot lines that Austen fans would recognize and be amused by.
 
Rob Darcy is the brother of marshal Danna Carpenter/O'Grady, the protagonist in "Marrying Miss Marshal". (Danna makes frequent appearances in this "Cowboy Pride", but has no counterpart in Pride and Prejudice.)  He starts off by insulting Liza, as Fitzwilliam Darcy does to Lizzy in P&P, but Rob's faux pas is due to his inexperience and clumsiness with women, not by being an absolute prig with a silly name -- there, I've said it -- like FD is in the original.  Of the two, I liked Rob Darcy right off, but Fitzwilliam Darcy needed those 1000+ pages to get into my good graces.
 
These plot lines seem to be preserved in "Cowboy Pride"
- The Rob Darcy + Liza Bennett (Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet) romance
- The Nathan Bingley + Janie Bennett (Charles Bingley and Jane Bennet) romance
- The George Wickham + Lydia Bennett (George Wickham and Lydia Bennet) elopement, and Darcy's intervention
 
I'm really disappointed that the Charlotte Lucas settling for Mr. Collins in P&P was sidestepped entirely.  Is this because that a non-romantic marriage would be a downer in a romance novel?  I feel that, if included, it would validate the other romances -- showing that you don't have to take the first offer, or settle for second best.
 
Ideas?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

..in both novels there is an importance placed on proper behaviour between members of the opposite sex. eg, Jannnie was worried about being rescued by a male when she was wearing only her under things even though her life was in danger.

Liza . worried about  her mother finding out about her and Jannie spending the night at Rob's ranch   when.   there was no chaperone  present.Proper conduct ,morals and appearances are  also common themes in Pride and Prejudice .

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anne McC    8

Absolutely dire.  A very poor retelling of a classic story.  The narrative jumped about all over the place with constant repetition and lack of resolution in parts of the tale, eg Albert and his mother and the family leaving their previous home, the abrupt departure of Mindy who is an heiress to become a seamstress, were barely examined or explained.

I cannot understand how anyone could write so poorly and yet declare she had researched the history of the time.  A prime example is that the store sold leather goods and a vague hint of products made by the family included saddles, boots, purses, etc.  However, saddles are made by sadlers, boots and shoes by cobblers or shoemakers.  Both of which professions required a long and complex training and took years at which to become proficient. The skills were not interchangeable.  Its a ludicrous proposition.

The language ran from modern to Austen and back again and the word is INVITATION not invite when speaking of the process of being asked to attend an event.

I note that the author has written many other books but the excruciatingly awful way in which she has tried to retell P and P will not tempt me to read any of them.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ursula HF    3

For me, the biggest difference was the shifting perspectives. In P&P,  the reader only really knows what Lizzie knows. In CP, it's the more modern style, which makes characters more complex and more understandable.  Because of this, for me, CP was less a comedy of manners than a sweet romance.

Edited by Ursula HF
Typo
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anne Murphy    0
On 7/11/2018 at 0:46 AM, RichardListener said:

Like heathera, I was interested in how Elizabeth's best friend Charlotte's marriage of convenience to cousin Mr. Collins in the original would be handled in "Cowboy Pride".  It seems that in "Cowboy Pride" Charlotte is a new aquaintance, and Mr. Collins has been upgraded from an unctious twerp to a solid businessman, and a friend of the family.  I'd be interested to know why the sub-plot of Elizabeth's friendship with Charlotte and Charlotte's decision to marry someone she didn't love was sidestepped.

I always felt that Mrs. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice was given a raw deal by Austen's narrator: ("She  was a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper."), when it seemed that she was a woman of pretty good emotional intelligence from the things she actually said and did in the novel.  This was  England's Regency period, after all, and Mrs. Bennet would naturally be worried sick about how her daughters would survive without an inheritance or independent income. 

In "Cowboy Pride" just about everyone is down on Mrs. Bennett, including her daughter, and I am finding her a much less likeable character.

In both books, her fit of pique in refusing the use of the buggy to Jane/Janie was a real stopper.  In the original, I put it down to a momentary lapse - a loss of temper in an otherwise loving family.  In "Cowboy Pride" it seems to be right in character.

I thought In P&P Mrs. Bennett was deliberate in refusing he use of the buggy because she thought it would force the Bingleys to keep her there.  Here, it is not explainable. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cheli    1

I first read Pride and Prejudice in my teens about twenty years ago.  After that, I worked my way through all the Austen novels, and when I finished with those I got addicted to P&P retells, sequels, and prequels.  I got to a point where finally all the stories sounded about the same that I stopped.  I picked up Cowboy Pride by accident, I did not know what the story was about so I was surprised when I started reading and found that it was indeed about P&P.  First, I thought I would return the book to the library by the end of chapter one; and in fact by the end of chapter one I was totally into the story.  I found Cowboy Pride a fresh retell of P&P and believe me I have read many of these.  There were many differences in the plot like the story behind Darcy's sister and the twist given to Jane's and Bingley's previous relationships background.  Some may see these changes as bold moves taken by the writer, but I actually found them  intriguing and help to keep my attention through the end.  After reading so much about the same, regarding P&P in other retells of the novel, I was ready for these changes in the plot.  In the end, it was the same story as in P&P but the changes in the plot gave it some interesting turns.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×