Saturday, March 12, 2016

Seven of the greatest rivalries in fiction

At the B&N Reads blog Ross Johnson tagged seven of the greatest rivalries in fiction, including:
Bennet v Darcy (Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen)

She’s prejudice and he’s pride in Jane Austen’s most popular (perhaps) novel. Though the two (spoiler!) wind up together in the end, there’s no meet-cute for one of literature’s most prickly couples. A series of misunderstandings, compounded by the aforementioned character traits and the sinister intervention of a Mr. Wickham lead to some brutal sparring matches between Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. If cutting retorts and significant glances could take down buildings, there’d be at least as much violence as we expect to see in Batman v Superman, with nary a country estate left standing.

Fighting Since: 1813

Greatest Battle: After a brief rapprochement, Elizabeth scolds Darcy over his ill-treatment of (enormous liar) Wickham. The fight ultimately leads to a greater understanding between the two, but not before a few legendary verbal strikes.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Pride and Prejudice also appears on Helen Dunmore's six best books list, Jenny Kawecki's list of eight fictional characters who would make the best travel companions, Peter James's top ten list of works of fiction set in or around Brighton, Ellen McCarthy's list of six favorite books about weddings and marriage, the Telegraph's list of the ten greatest put-downs in literature, Rebecca Jane Stokes' list of ten fictional families you might enjoy more than the one you'll actually spend the holidays with, Melissa Albert's lists of five fictional characters who deserved better, [fifteen of the] romantic leads (and wannabes) of Austen’s brilliant books and recommended reading for eight villains, Molly Schoemann-McCann's list of ten fictional men who have ruined real live romance, Emma Donoghue's list of five favorite unconventional fictional families, Amelia Schonbek's list of five approachable must-read classics, Jane Stokes's top ten list of the hottest men in required reading, Gwyneth Rees's top ten list of books about siblings, the Observer's list of the ten best fictional mothers, Paula Byrne's list of the ten best Jane Austen characters, Robert McCrum's list of the top ten opening lines of novels in the English language, a top ten list of literary lessons in love, Simon Mason's top ten list of fictional families, Cathy Cassidy's top ten list of stories about sisters, Paul Murray's top ten list of wicked clerics, John Mullan's lists of ten of the best housekeepers in fiction, ten great novels with terrible original titles, and ten of the best visits to Brighton in literature, Luke Leitch's top ten list of the most successful literary sequels ever, and is one of the top ten works of literature according to Norman Mailer. Richard Price has never read it, but it is the book Mary Gordon cares most about sharing with her children.

The Page 99 Test: Pride and Prejudice.

--Marshal Zeringue