When Bethany House announced their new “Insight Edition” of Pride and Prejudice I jumped at the chance to read it. This new printing of Jane Austen’s beloved classic includes the original text, but it also adds side notes giving the reader a brief definition of certain terms, customs and history behind Austen’s words.
The novel also includes movie facts and other entertaining tidbits that highlight the many re-works, parodies, and movie versions – such as the 2005 movie starring Kiera Knightley — that Pride and Prejudice has always inspired.
The editors at Bethany house did a fantastic job at selecting passages to expound on. For example, Austen speaks of Mrs. Bennet saying, “The business of her life was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and news.” In today’s culture this may seem a bit, well, shallow, and yet the editors include a note that explains why this would have been so important a job for Mrs. Bennet.
Insight Edition has succeeded in adding a whole new dimension to Austen’s work. The text of Pride and Prejudice largely speaks for itself and yet the editors did a wonderful job of adding information that enriched the book and made it even more appealing.