Pride and Prejudice 200th Anniversary: Great Books Week 2013

Great Books Week 2013 celebrated Pride and PrejudiceIt’s time once again to celebrate Great Books Week with Excellence in Literature and NAIWE. For 2013, we are celebrating the 200th anniversary of the first publication of Jane Austen’s masterpiece, Pride and Prejudice. If you haven’t already read it, we hope you’ll take the opportunity to do so this month.

Download the poster as a PDF: great-books-week-2013

Here’s an introduction to P&P from the Jane Austen module in the British Literature volume of the Excellence in Literature curriculum:

“It’s not easy to explain why Pride and Prejudice is one of the most popular novels of all time. The plot, after all, does not involve sweeping drama, earth shaking events, or even spellbinding suspense. Why do people read Jane Austen’s masterpiece, not just once, but time after time? I believe it’s because of Jane herself—her delightful wit, her interesting (sometimes aggravating) characters, and her enduring themes. Like Shakespeare, she reveals truths about human nature that ring true despite cultural changes. Her books are subtle; like shortbread cookies, the first bite may seem bland, especially if you are used to something bold and splashy. By the time you finish, however, chances are that you will want more. Enjoy!”

More about Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice

You can learn more about Jane Austen and her work at PBS Masterpiece Theatre, which offers a biography, film clips, including behind the scenes excerpts, a page for each of Austen’s books, and a nice selection of resources for further research.

G. K. Chesterton’s splendid essay, “On Jane Austen in the General Election“, appears in several of his essay collections, as well as online. His analysis of Mr. Wickham is spot on. (Chesterton is another great British writer.)

You may view the non-interactive version (better for a slow connection) of Austen’s History of England at this link; audio is still available and you can view enlarged images of the pages.

Pemberley.com offers a very helpful listing of characters, with a genealogical chart.

Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle
I highly recommend the 1995 BBC/A&E version of Pride and Prejudice, with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. It incorporates much of Austen’s incomparable dialogue and remains generally faithful to the novel. You may view more information and a few clips at the BBC site.

You may visit Chawton Cottage, the Hampshire home where Austen wrote some of her most beloved works. The website has a nice virtual tour.

The Jane Austen Jokes page has several variations of a top ten song list, a hilarious list of Jane Austen punishments (things such as “An audience with the Queen accompanied by Mrs. Bennet” or “A tour of Rosings with Mr. Collins”), suggested answering machine messages, a money-making scheme from Mr. Wickham, and much more.

The Derbyshire Writers’ Guild has created a site for stories written in the style of Jane Austen. Amazingly, there are over 2,400 stories on the site at this time. Perhaps you’d like to contribute one as well? There are also message boards and links.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Download Great Books Week 2011 Poster

Great Books Week 2011 free downloadable poster

It’s almost time for Great Books Week 2011! Here’s the poster for the event–feel free to download and post it on your blog, website, or social media with a link back to www.GreatBooksWeek.com. The poster is based on an 1859 portrait of Charles Dickens by William Powell Frith.

Great Books Week is held annually during the first full week in October. Be sure to join us and participate in the blog challenge. There will be one question per day, Monday-Friday, and you’re invited to write about them and link back to the GBW blog. Enjoy!

To download the small image to use online, right-click on the image at left, and select “Save image as” to save it to your hard drive.
To download a printable image, click on the high-resolution image to print (8.5 x 11″) link.

Books: The scholar only knows how dear these silent, yet eloquent,

companions of pure thoughts and innocent hours

become in the season of adversity.

When all that is worldly turns to dross around us,

these only retain their steady value.

~Washington Irving

Blog Challenge Winner for 2010

Olivia, NAIWE's official feline representative

“Thank you” to everyone who posted on each of the five posts for the Great Books Week 2010 Blog Challenge. We enjoyed visiting your blogs and reading posts. Here are few of the participants who posted faithfully on each topic:

Eli Ross of the The Ineluctable Bookshelf

Debra Brinkman of Footprints in the Butter

Andrea of Andrea’s Notebook

Brenda Seward of Simple Pleasures Book Blog

In addition, there were many people who posted on one or two of the topics, or who posted and forgot to link back to the Great Books Week blog, which meant that we didn’t always find them during the event. You can read all the posts from the links in the comment section of each daily prompt. You may even find new books you’d like to read!

The winner of the $20 Amazon gift certificate was randomly chosen by NAIWE’s official feline representative, Olivia. Her large fuzzy paws necessitated a couple of tries to extract only one name from the bowl, but she finally fished out the name of Debra Brinkman of the Footprints in the Butter blog, who will receive the gift certificate via e-mail.

We hope everyone enjoyed participating in Great Books Week 2010, and we hope you’ll join us next year for Great Books Week 2011!

The National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE), Excellence in Literature , StoryBlue and PhotographerBlue are sponsors of Great Books Week 2010.

Great Books Week- Day 5 Blog Challenge

Here’s the blog challenge question for Friday, October 8, 2010:

If you were stranded alone on a deserted island, what five books would you want?

Great Books Week 2010- sponsored by Excellence in Literature and the National Association of Independent Writers and EditorsIf you’d like to participate in the challenge,write a post on your own blog on the topic of the day, then visit the Great Books blog to leave your post title and link in the comment section so that others can enjoy what you’ve written. Be sure to share your posts in Facebook, Twitter, and other social media!

“How vast an estate it is that we came into as the intellectual heirs of all the watchers and searchers and thinkers and singers of the generations that are dead!  What a heritage of stored wealth!  What perishing poverty of mind we should be left in without it!”

~J.N. Larned

Background: In honor of Great Books Week, a holiday that is celebrated annually the first full week in October, Excellence in Literature and the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE) is hosting a Blog Challenge with a specific daily topic Monday through Friday.

Each blogger that posts a response to each day’s challenge (a total of five posts) will be entered into a drawing for a $20 gift card to Amazon.com. The winner will be announced in the next issue of The Edge, NAIWE’s e-mail newsletter. (If you don’t receive it yet, you may subscribe at the NAIWE homepage). Remember to write the post on your own blog, adding a link to this post. Return to this page and add a comment on this post, with the title of your response and a link to your post.

Great Books Week- Day 4 Blog Challenge

Here’s the blog challenge question for Thursday, October 6, 2010:

What book or books do you read over and over?

Great Books Week 2010- sponsored by Excellence in Literature and the National Association of Independent Writers and EditorsIf you’d like to participate in the challenge,write a post on your own blog on the topic of the day, then visit the Great Books blog to leave your post title and link in the comment section so that others can enjoy what you’ve written. Be sure to share your posts in Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.

“There are books so alive that you’re always afraid that while you weren’t reading, the book has gone and changed, has shifted like a river; while you went on living, it went on living too, and like a river moved on and moved away.  No one has stepped twice into the same river.  But did anyone ever step twice into the same book?”

~Marina Tsvetaeva

Background: In honor of Great Books Week, a holiday that is celebrated annually the first full week in October, Excellence in Literature and the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE) is hosting a Blog Challenge with a specific daily topic Monday through Friday.

Each blogger that posts a response to each day’s challenge (a total of five posts) will be entered into a drawing for a $20 gift card to Amazon.com. The winner will be announced in the next issue of The Edge, NAIWE’s e-mail newsletter. (If you don’t receive it yet, you may subscribe at the NAIWE homepage). Remember to write the post on your own blog, adding a link to this post. Return to this page and add a comment on this post, with the title of your response and a link to your post.

Great Books Week- Day 3 Blog Challenge

Here’s the blog challenge question for Wednesday, October 6, 2010:

What childhood book captured your imagination?

Great Books Week 2010- sponsored by Excellence in Literature and the National Association of Independent Writers and EditorsIf you’d like to participate in the challenge,write a post on your own blog on the topic of the day, then visit the Great Books blog to leave your post title and link in the comment section so that others can enjoy what you’ve written. Be sure to share your posts in Facebook, Twitter, and other social media!

“The stories of childhood leave an indelible impression, and their author always has a niche in the temple of memory from which the image is never cast out to be thrown on the rubbish heap of things that are outgrown and outlived.”

~Howard Pyle

Background: In honor of Great Books Week, a holiday that is celebrated annually the first full week in October, Excellence in Literature and the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE) is hosting a Blog Challenge with a specific daily topic Monday through Friday.

Each blogger that posts a response to each day’s challenge (a total of five posts) will be entered into a drawing for a $20 gift card to Amazon.com. The winner will be announced in the next issue of The Edge, NAIWE’s e-mail newsletter. (If you don’t receive it yet, you may subscribe at the NAIWE homepage). Remember to write the post on your own blog, adding a link to this post. Return to this page and add a comment on this post, with the title of your response and a link to your post.

Great Books Week- Day 2 Blog Challenge

Here’s the blog challenge question for Tuesday, October 5, 2010:

What makes a book great?

Great Books Week 2010- sponsored by Excellence in Literature and the National Association of Independent Writers and EditorsIf you’d like to participate in the challenge,write a post on your own blog on the topic of the day, then visit the Great Books blog to leave your post title and link in the comment section so that others can enjoy what you’ve written. Be sure to share your posts in Facebook, Twitter, and other social media!

“How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book…”

~Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Background: In honor of Great Books Week, a holiday that is celebrated annually the first full week in October, Excellence in Literature and the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE) is hosting a Blog Challenge with a specific daily topic Monday through Friday.

Each blogger that posts a response to each day’s challenge (a total of five posts) will be entered into a drawing for a $20 gift card to Amazon.com. The winner will be announced in the next issue of The Edge, NAIWE’s e-mail newsletter. (If you don’t receive it yet, you may subscribe at the NAIWE homepage). Remember to write the post on your own blog, adding a link to this post. Return to this page and add a comment on this post, with the title of your response and a link to your post.


Great Books Week- Day 1 Blog Challenge

Here’s the blog challenge question for Monday, October 4, 2010:

What book has had the greatest impact on your life? In what way?

Great Books Week 2010- sponsored by Excellence in Literature and the National Association of Independent Writers and EditorsIf you’d like to participate in the challenge,write a post on your own blog on the topic of the day, then visit the Great Books blog to leave your post title and link in the comment section so that others can enjoy what you’ve written. Be sure to share your posts in Facebook, Twitter, and other social media!

Background: In honor of Great Books Week, a holiday that is celebrated annually the first full week in October, Excellence in Literature and the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE) is hosting a Blog Challenge with a specific daily topic Monday through Friday.

Each blogger that posts a response to each day’s challenge (a total of five posts) will be entered into a drawing for a $20 gift card to Amazon.com. The winner will be announced in the next issue of The Edge, NAIWE’s e-mail newsletter. (If you don’t receive it yet, you may subscribe at the NAIWE homepage). Remember to write the post on your own blog, adding a link to this post. Return to this page and add a comment on this post, with the title of your response and a link to your post.

“The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it.”

-James Bryce

Great Books Week 2010

It’s time to celebrate great books!

If you have never said “Excuse me” to a parking meter or bashed your shins on a fireplug, you are probably wasting too much valuable reading time.

-Sherri Chasin Calvo

Great Books Week 2010- sponsored by Excellence in Literature and the National Association of Independent Writers and EditorsThe first full week in October has been designated Great Books Week. Although many people think of the great books as only literary classics such as Shakespeare’s plays or Jane Austen’s novels, great books can also be little-known books that shaped your mind. We plan to devote October 3-9 to celebrating and sharing books that have made a difference.

Be sure to join us for:

  • A Monday-Friday blog challenge with special topics
  • A free downloadable event poster
  • And more!
  • Be sure to visit the How to Participate page to find out how you or your library, classroom, or group can participate in Great Books Week.

    Download your free printable Great Books Week poster by right-clicking the links below and saving the image to your hard drive:

    High-resolution poster

    Medium-resolution poster

    You may use the thumbnail image above in your blog posts about Great Books Week, but we ask that you copy the image (right click and select “save image as” from the pop-up menu) and host it on your own server. Please link the image back to this page so others can learn more about Great Books Week.