Jane Austen

Manga/Graphic Novel Review: MANGA CLASSICS Emma

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Thank you to the author/publisher for accepting my request to read and review this book

After reading a couple of the books in this Manga Classics collection, I decided to take a look at the other titles available on NetGalley. I’ve never read the original novel by Jane Austen, but I hadn’t read Great Expectations either before reading the manga adaptation.

Emma

Manga Classics: Emma by Stacy King (originally by Jane Austen) – eBook, 377 pages – Published June 17th 2015 by UDON Entertainment

As usual with these adaptations, I’m not going to focus too much on the story as that was down to the original author, not the author of this particular adaptation. Here’s a quick synopsis though, in case you’re not familiar with the novel:

Emma Woodhouse is a single young lady living with her father. She prides herself for her ability to see into the hearts and minds of others, and her matchmaking capabilities. Her governess has just recently married a man Emma set her up with, after all. When she acquires the friendship of Harriet, she believes herself capable of matching her with a suitable gentleman. But it turns out to be a lot more difficult than she anticipated.

And her own mind – once set on remaining single and unmarried forever – is suddenly rather confused…

It is, clearly, a romance novel. But it’s not just a boy-meets-girl kinda thing. It’s a typical Austen novel, I think, with all the misguided affections and complicated love stories all tangled up.

This adaptation is wonderful; I’m a big fan of this collection. As I’ve said before, it helps you understand the story and characters a lot better, and is really useful for people who aren’t that fond of classic literature. The author manages to keep the original tone and language (mostly) intact, while still making it a lot easier to understand and relate to. The art is fantastic, too; it really expresses the different moods and scenes, and the feelings of each character.

I’d easily give this 4 stars out of 5. I really think this collection is worth looking at, whether you’re interested in classic novels or not.

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Graphic Novel Review: MANGA CLASSICS Pride and Prejudice

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Thank you to the author/publisher for accepting my request to read and review this book

 

We all know of the classic novel, but have you ever read Austen’s work in the form of a manga?

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Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice by Stacy King (originally by Jane Austen) – eBook, 377 pages – Published September 17th 2014 by UDON Entertainment

 

I won’t talk about the plot much – I’m sure you know enough about it already – but I will definitely mention the art and the portrayal of the different characters and their relationships with one another.

So, just in case you don’t know the story of Pride and Prejudice – my review of which is here – I will give you a quick summary. Originally published in 1813, the story features common themes from the era such as wealth, social standing, and marriage. A family with five daughters are desperate to get them married into wealth, into comfortable homes with handsome young men. But Elizabeth is not so keen on marrying just anyone, and her eldest sister soon finds herself falling for a particular young man.

The original novel is fantastic, but some people don’t particularly enjoy reading classics – which is understandable, as a lot of the language is rather hard for us to understand in the modern day and age. So this adaptation makes the story a whole lot more enjoyable and easy to follow, while still keeping the importance of the plot intact. Not to mention how well the characters are all portrayed – especially Mrs Bennet, the comedic mother in the book. The artwork emphasises how exaggerated she is, as well as showing her husband’s reaction to her.

At important times – such as weddings or the introduction of a certain character to another – the illustrations are particularly beautiful and romantic, with lots of floral designs. I thought the illustrations reflected the mood of the plot/characters really well. And the language is a lot easier to understand than Austen’s original writing, yet still somewhat classic and formal.

I really did enjoy this, and am definitely going to consider other books from the range. 5 stars for this wonderful retelling of Pride and Prejudice.

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Book Review: Pride and Prejudice

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Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – Hardback, 284 pages – Published 2003 by Planet Three Publishing Network Ltd

I’ve wanted to read more classics for some time, and had a copy of this lying around. So when I was told it may come up on my exams, I thought it was a great opportunity to start reading it. But, as I’ll be writing about it in great detail sometime soon, I’m going to keep this review short and sweet.

This novel was first published in 1813, and is loosely based on Austen’s own home life. It helps if you know a little bit about the time period and the ways of the people back then; this is set in the 19th Century Regency Period, when women were greatly oppressed and often married for money or reputation rather than love and affection. This is shown with the marriage of Charlotte Lucas and Mr Collins; Charlotte claims that she rarely sees her husband about the house, and that she finds the solitude quite comfortable.

Austen is challenging these facts though, with Jane and Elizabeth Bennet. They refuse to marry anyone who they do not greatly admire, and Elizabeth especially is a very headstrong character. You could say that this is an early feminist novel!

Another key theme throughout Pride and Prejudice is the judgement of character being incorrect from first impressions. For example, Elizabeth despises Mr Darcy at first. She hears only of his faults, and does not think to wonder about any context or motivation for his “negative” actions. Eventually, Darcy sets her straight and she finds herself feeling an emotion rather different to hate toward him.

Another of the young Bennets, Lydia, finds herself drawn to a man. Hers is the first relationship, and comes about in unfavourable circumstances. She is the youngest of the five sisters, and has always been a lively, flirtatious character.

Jane Bennet, the eldest and most admired of the girls, goes through a few emotions regarding the man she desires. Mr Bingley quickly steals her heart, but no proposal is made. Jane can only assume that he does not feel any admiration towards her. Little does she know, her sister’s admirer is responsible for keeping them apart.

I’m really not a romance girl, but I still appreciate this book. It can be hard to follow due to the language, but I personally enjoy this sort of thing. It has a nice, happy ending, and is not unreasonable or too far-fetched. It is a novel that requires a fair bit of your attention to really understand, but can really draw you in once you start. I think I’ll give it 4 stars.

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