Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen, illus. by Ellie Fabe. Beauty Panic, $30 (158p) ISBN 978-0-692-50341-6
Collagist Fabe adds flair to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice with 39 original illustrations that accompany the unabridged text. Fabe’s collages overlay bright, watercolor-washed scenes with retro cut-paper figures and objects sampled from fashion magazines from the 1930s to the ’50s. Accompanying each tableau is a quote from the Pride and Prejudice passage that inspired it. Like Austen’s book, Fabe’s work explores arcane customs of beauty and courtship, pageantry and social artifice: in one collage, a housewife holds a tray of drinks while a man sits happily with a sandwich in hand in the distance. While tinged with irony and more than a dash of social commentary, the collages nevertheless have a spirit of glee and evidence deep reverence for the novel. As Fabe describes in a preface, Austen “was a little bit mean—the way real people are mean—so there are both heroes and nincompoops. Family is both beloved and annoying. That is Austen’s genius, her ability to describe people in all their frailty and humor.” This is a sweet and visually appealing homage. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 06/04/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
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