La littérature anglaise contient de petits bijoux qui nous sont souvent inconnus … bien que parfois révélés par des films. C’est le cas de Pride & Prejudice (Orgueil Préjugés) de Jane Austen, notamment connu grâce au film paru en 2006 sous ce nom. Permettez-moi tout de même de souligner que ce film, s’il est sympa à regarder, ne peut rendre justice à l’oeuvre de Jane Austen, construite sur des personnages très développés ! Mieux vaut se tourner vers les 6h d’épisodes que la BBC lui a consacré 🙂
Ceci dit, notre classe Travaux pratiques se penche actuellement sur une version simplifiée du livre. Nous voici arrivé au passage où le héros orgueilleux (Darcy) demande en mariage l’héroïne pleine de préjugés (Elisabeth, dite Lizzie). D’où des étincelles ! Vous en trouverez un extrait ci-dessous (version BBC).
Mais voici que nos élèves, se prenant pour Lizzie, ont décidé de raconter cet épisode par lettre à Jane, soeur de Lizzie. Voici l’une de leurs épîtres : préparez-vous à remonter dans le temps ! Enjoy 🙂
Hunsford, March 20, 1798
My dear Jane,
It’s been two weeks since we met in London. I missed you so, this trip does me a lot of good. I appreciate being far from mom who is so disappointed with me, and I’m as closed to you as far from our sisters. Being with Charlotte reminds me how we love each other. In spite of her marriage and my dislike for her husband, she welcomed me cheerfully. I know it’s important for her to maintain our friendship, and I realize how meaningful it is, for me too. She is the same woman, so nice, so lovely. I was wrong to think we’ll be less and less closed because of her wedding with Mr. Collins.
Let me describe you my life here, in the Parsonage.
Charlotte’s house matches Charlotte. Colors, fabrics, furnitures, flowers … I’m not in a well-off family, but that’s no matter and I can feel Charlotte’s welfare. She enjoys being married, having a little house and a lovely garden. She enjoys taking care of her husband. Charlotte is a reliable woman as for me as for her husband. I appreciate the simplicity of the house as the simplicity of Charlotte.
I hope I will get to see Mr. Collins shows the same interest for his wife.
It reminds me why she is my best friend. In spite of our opposite character (her self-control, you remember how she keeps to herself!), we have a lot of things in common. Nature, discussions, books, I enjoy her character and her sensibility.
Each day, I take a walk in the garden or through the fields, do you remember how I like that? I can think about you, (I read and read again your letters), what I would like in the future, and Charlotte’s way of life. I ask myself why I can’t cope with all these ways. I mean, I know how to face with them, but I can’t stand with some aristocratic family with deep pocket looking down on us. Here is one difference between me and Charlotte!
Maybe you can understand how I’m still anger at Mr. Darcy, his pride and his supposed superiority. Mr. Darcy is Mrs. Lady de Bourgh’s nephew, and her aunt has as bad manners as him. Among our activities, I met her, and without any surprise, her behavior was unpleasant and annoyed me. Prying questions, lack of sensibility, great sense of superiority, she is a nosy woman and she matches with her nephew.
Fortunately, I have made the acquaintance of Colonel Fitzwilliam, Mr. Darcy’s cousin. I get along with him, his conversation was very entertaining, his humor, and he is a very pleasant man. We spoke about music, and I will meet him again with pleasure.
I know I’m hard on Lady de Bourgh, and I must admit that I can’t forget her nephew attitude. I realized how it is difficult for me to control my feelings. Oh Jane, I don’t recognize myself, when I meet him, I feel a deep anger, and I struggle in control it. How can you be so quiet when I’m so upset? I need a piece of advice.
I have to tell you what happened. To begin with, yesterday, I was alone in the Parsonage while Collins family were visiting Rosings. Imagine my surprise to see Mr. Darcy in front of me, at the Parsonage door, interested in my headache (I felt ill, that’s why I wasn’t to Rosings).
Actually, I was dumbfounded! Mr. Darcy, worried about my healthy! Was it a joke?
Now, Jane, you are about to read something crazy.
If I were you, I will sit down!
Mr. Darcy proposed me! Me, Elizabeth Bennett, this young woman without money, without manner, without good-looking! Believe me, I overreacted. Does he love me? Does he want to bring me down? What are you thinking about that, Jane?
This man is unable to open his lips and to have any sensible discussion, he judges others, he decides without knowing, and he believes that Elizabeth Bennett has to mercy him, becoming Mrs. Darcy!
I have not seen this coming! I could barely believe this! I was in a state of great anxiety!
I don’t need to curry his favor, you know me more than anyone, and all my anger came out. Obviously, I turned down, and I told him all my disgusting.
As I’m writing to you, I have mixed feelings: sadness, anger, I should be relieved, but I can’t manage to settle down.
I’m about to take a walk, I need to breathe to relax me.
My dear Jane, I’m waiting for your answer. Don’t worry about me, you know how strong I am!
Thinking of you every day,