It’s a big week for Jane Austen acolytes. Monday, you might have read, marked the bicentennial of every old English major’s comfort read: Pride & Prejudice. Two hundred years after a bookish, 22-year-old Jane first penned it, Pride’s parlor patriarchies, quiet angst, and Regency courtship still make it a perennial favorite for scholars and soapy drama-lovers alike. Think about it: three movies, a BBC miniseries as appealing as a Sex and the City marathon, a zombie-themed fan fiction novel, and a not-totally-grating Renée Zellweger performance. This book pushed a lot of envelopes.
But while we all love the novel itself—we all did that reading for English class, yes?—it’s really the movies that have popularized Lizzie and Darcy. Here, the nine most iconic P&P moments.
1. Lizzie out-cools Mr. Darcy as they plod in circles for their first dance. She broaches the bad-bro-blood between Darcy and Wickham. Word “prejudice” debuts.
2. The excruciatingly creepy Mr. Collins. Trying to hit it. Too hasty, sir.
3. Catherine de Bourgh, the debonair dragon lady. Lizzie doing some 19th-century millennial bucking.
4. Fine, this one gets a spot. Even I can appreciate this cut-with-a-serrated-knife Darcy-Lizzie skirmish.
5. Mrs. Bennett, being histrionic. I’ve spent the last 17 years trying to nail the way she says “Mee-stah Beeng-lay!”
6. Lizzie goes to Netherfield. ON FOOT.
7. As my mom says, “double weddings just don’t happen anymore.” I’ll say. Not sure who would agree to share a post-nuptial horse-and-buggy with their sister and brother-in-law.
8. The story of slumlord Wickham. There are not nearly enough videos online of Lydia tramping around London’s underbelly. Only ones of poor, ruined Georgiana.
9. Saved for last, because I wanted you to keep reading. Darcy in the lake. Was this even in the book? Do I care? No, I don’t think I do.