Today I Learned – Pride and Prejudice Edition

 Today I Learned (TIL) is my play on Reddit’s highly entertaining and informative forum.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that over 200 years since its publication, Pride and Prejudice remains one the most celebrated English language novels of all time. It has spawned movie and television adaptations, thousands of book spin-offs, a web series, a musical, fake Twitter accounts, fashion lines, merchandise and heck, even a statue! We simply can’t get enough of Jane Austen’s charming and witty romance.

As part of Austen In August and the Pride and Prejudice Read-along fun this month, here are a few of my favourite ways Pride and Prejudice intersects with popular culture.

I’m sure you all have your favourite P&P references, but I think this one from You’ve Got Mail thoroughly explains how the novel can leave some of us a little breathless.


Pride and Prejudice references abound in TV sitcoms from Sabrina the Teenage Witch to The Crazy Ones. However, no one more succinctly gives P&P its due than Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory (and nit-picky Sheldon’s stamp of approval says a lot!).


Skip the Victoria Secret’s fragrance commercial of Behati Prinsloo in her underwear swaying to Liz on Top of the World (from the 2005 P&P  soundtrack), but from chocolate to travel, advertisers have frequently chosen a P&P theme to target consumers (largely from the female demographic, of course). However, I’m not sure who exactly Heineken was targeting with the commercial below.


A few parodies have floated around, but none have been as popular as Jane Austen’s Fight Club, a hilarious mash-up of Austen characters in a (Chuck Palahniuk’s) Fight Club scenario.


A Pride and Prejudice musical I can believe, but I wouldn’t have suspected that Lizzy Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy could have inspired contemporary musicians like The Counting Crows and Jagged Edge to write love songs!


Some Jane Austen fans love to dress up in Regency-era costumes (I mean, doesn’t everyone look good in empire waist dresses and silk breeches?), but what happens when Pride & Prejudice inspires the modern fashion world? Sexy and elegant dresses meant for kicking up your heels during a cotillion (and showing your nipples, apparently).

Are you reading Pride and Prejudice? What do you love about this book?


9 comments on “Today I Learned – Pride and Prejudice Edition

  1. Naomi
    August 6, 2014

    I have to admit, what I like best about P&P is the happy ending. I don’t always need a happy ending in my books, but I do love this one.

    I love all the P&P stuff you found! It must have been a fun one to do. And, I have a soft spot for You’ve Got Mail (another happy ending).

    My P&P story: My friend bought the VCR tapes of the BBC version with Colin Firth when it came out. We were at university at the time. We spent many happy times watching and re-watching our favourite scenes. 🙂


    • ebookclassics
      August 8, 2014

      Ha ha, that’s awesome. I haven’t seen the P&P with Colin Firth (except the clip of him in the water), but I’m determined to change that and I ordered it from the library.


      • Naomi
        August 8, 2014

        Oh, you have to see it! Then, tell me your favourite parts. 🙂


  2. Sophia
    August 6, 2014

    Oh my gosh that Heineken ad! What the heck is that even supposed to be – ? That really has nothing to do with beer, okay?

    But the fight club one is hilarious! 🙂


    • ebookclassics
      August 8, 2014

      Agreed! What was the point of using P&P for that Heineken commercial?


  3. Magistra Beck
    August 7, 2014

    Great review! Very comprehensive collection of P&P references.


    • ebookclassics
      August 8, 2014

      Thanks! I came across a lot of great references to P&P in TV shows that I didn’t know about. Too many to mention.


  4. Great post! I love seeing modern references to classic lit 🙂 That You’ve Got Mail clip gets me every time!


    • ebookclassics
      August 13, 2014

      Thank you! I came across so many great clips, but I completely forgot that P&P is referenced in You’ve Got Mail.


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