Why is Jane Austen still so appealing 200 years after her death?

Margaret Melcon, one of the playwrights of “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley,” says:

Jane Austen will never go out of style because of her incredible use of wit and comedy. It is never not fun to dive into a world of people with problems that are maybe a little superficial, but always serve to showcase great and complex characters, especially the women.

What I love especially about Pride and Prejudice is that each of the sisters has such a unique personality – at different times in your life, when you read the novel, you’ll identify with a different one of the sisters. If you used to be more of a Lydia, you may evolve into a Lizzy. Or maybe you’ve always felt like a Mary at heart, until one day you wake up, and you’re relating to Jane.

That’s the lovely thing about complicated characters: they resonate differently because each one of us has a little bit of each of them in us.

Margaret Melcon, retrieved from Backstage at MRT

“Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley” continues the story of “Pride and Prejudice”. 

Two years after the end of the Jane Austen’s 1813 novel Pride and Prejudice, Lizzy Bennet is now delirously happy married to Mr. Darcy. It’s Christmastime, and the whole Bennet clan is descending on the Darcys’ Pemberley estate. Arriving first are three of Lizzy’s sisters: Jane, pregnant with the child of her husband, Mr. Bingley, a close friend of Mr. Darcy; Lydia, young and innocent, is married to Mr. Wickham who is not attending the festivities. She insists that she is very happy, but the sisters think differently; and Mary, the Miss Bennet of the title. Mary’s bookish ways cast doubts on her prospects for marriage, a concern for all, except Mary.

As we know, love is always in the air in an Austen drawing room. Enter Mr. Arthur de Bourgh. Mr. de Bourgh’s aunt has recently passed and has left Arthur her estate and title, making him a landed gentry. And of course, Arthur and Mary bond over their mutual interest in geography and realize they are meant for each other. But before anything happens, there are some misunderstandings and events to overcome..

In the end, just like an Austen novel, love wins out and all live very happily ever after.

This show is destined to become a Christmas classic. Don’t miss it!

Featured image is from a watercolour by James Andrews of Maidenhead based on an unfinished work by Cassandra Austen. Engraving by William Home Lizars. – A Memoir of Jane Austen by her nephew J. E. Austen-Leigh, Vicar of Bray, Berks. London: Richard Bentley, New Burlington Street, Publisher in Ordinary to her Majesty, 1870, Public Domain, Link