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PrideandPrejudiceSo I read Pride & Prejudice for the first time a couple of months ago. I don’t know how I have gone 25 years without reading a single Austen novel but there you go. Obviously it is a great book and there is no reason to put off reading it. It’s clever, witty and romantic with a female lead that you can admire and plenty of characters to happily despise. But I was struck when reading it at how much it had influenced Bridget Jones’s Diary.

I had always known that Helen Fielding had openly said the Pride & Prejudice was the influence behind Bridget Jones’s Diary and the fun casting with Colin Firth being hired to play a modern Mr Darcy. But it wasn’t until I read both novels that I realised that Bridget Jones’s Diary is more of a re-imagining of Pride and Prejudice

Below are all the similarities I can find:

  1. The male romantic lead is Darcy – both reserved English gentlemen, pretty wealthy, with high morals and a habit of rescuing people
  2. Bridget and Elizabeth are both single women facing pressures from society to couple up.
  3. Two painfully embarrassing mothers who cause trouble for their daughters rather than helping them
  4. Two reserved fathers who are pretty incapable of influencing their wives.
  5. In both books the female lead has a family member who takes off with a romantic scoundrel – In Pride and Prejudice it’s Lydia and Wickham, In Bridget Jones it’s Bridget’s mum and JulianBridget Jones Diary
  6. Both family members are rescued by the hard work and secret action of Darcy. In both books Darcy’s help is only revealed towards the end of the story.
  7. Bridget and Elizabeth are both temporarily charmed by a handsome womanizer who tells a deceptive tale of betrayal from Darcy to ruin his reputation in their eyes.
  8. In both books it turns out that it was actually Darcy who was wronged by the charming womanizer and not the other way around
  9. Darcy initially proclaims his affection to the female lead but at the same time lists all of her faults resulting in confusion.
  10. But by the final pages all misunderstandings are cleared up, the scoundrels are exposed, the foolish relatives are rescued and the female lead and Darcy get together and lock lips!