28th January marked the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, which passed with fitting media flurry – testament to its enduring popularity. From the screen adaptation of Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary, starring Colin Firth (who else?) as Mark Darcy, forever ingrained in the British psyche as the definitive Mr. Darcy, to P.D. James’ murder mystery sequel, Death Comes to Pemberley, references to P&P in popular culture abound. But why has Pride and Prejudice retained its relevance, remaining such a steadfast public favourite?
For us, it’s because Austen was more than just a storyteller: she was a satirist of her characters – one so subtle that their traits remain universal, mirrored in each reader’s own acquaintances. That gorgeous but seemingly up-himself guy? Clearly a Mr. Darcy. The girl who posts videos of herself on YouTube singing like a strangled cat? A veritable Mary Bennett. So which Pride and Prejudice character are you? Take our definitive quiz to find out…
1. Which mode of transport are you most likely to use?
a) Your own two feet – nothing like a brisk walk for clearing the mind. It is only three miles after all.
b) Your horse – such a beautiful creature always elicits people’s admiration (as does its rider).
c) Your fancy sports car – what’s the point of having money and not showing the world?
d) You don’t – you’re going to spend all you time hiding from people in the library so no need to go anywhere.
2. What is your favourite pastime?
a) Anything and everything – reading, music, dancing; you take pleasure in it all.
b) Flirting – nothing like exercising a bit of charm, especially when it could lead to financial gain.
c) Listening to others play music and criticising it – you could have been a great musician, if only given a proper chance.
d) Reading – the only way to escape the drab life and the annoying people around you.
3. What do you look for in a partner?
a) Someone who is kind and clever – you’d rather marry for love than money.
b) Someone who is attractive, charming and most definitely loaded – gambling debts don’t disappear by themselves.
c) Someone who is of equal rank – anything less would be insufferable.
d) Nothing – you’re not going to be able to put up with their silliness after a year anyway so what does it matter?
4. What is your favourite song?
a) ‘Respect’ by Aretha Franklin – you like women who can think for themselves.
b) ‘Sex Bomb’ by Tom Jones – obviously.
c) Anything by Mahler – for someone with your musical ear, it’s not pretentious.
d) ‘A Well-Respected Man’ by the Kinks – you enjoy sniggering at your neighbours’ expense.
5. How do you view your family?
a) As flesh and blood – they might be objectionable but you can’t change them.
b) As disadvantaged – they were cheated by others and so were you.
c) As nobility – after all, social standing determines all.
d) As stupidity personified – not a wit among them.
6. What is your favourite book?
a) Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment – witty, gritty political drama.
b) Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – you’ve never read but it gets people into the bedroom.
c) You’ve got a whole library full, you couldn’t possibly choose one.
d) J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings – nothing like a long trilogy to pass away the dull hours.
If you answered mainly…
a) you are an Elizabeth Bennet – bright and witty, but a bit headstrong.
b) you are a Mr. Wickham – an enchanting rouge who loves to woo but is ultimately a gold-digger.
c) you are a Lady Catherine de Bourgh – stinking rich and not afraid to show it.
d) you are a Mr. Bennet – you have a cynical sense of humour, which hides your good heart.