The novel Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding, 1996, follows Bridget Jones, a thirty-something, single woman who lives in London in the 90’s throughout her struggles of maintaining a job and finding a man. Since 2006 the novel has sold over 2 million copies and, as the Telegraph put it, “Fielding’s success in the 1990s meant that Bridget Jones came to define the Chick Lit phenomenon”.
Many parallels can be found between this book and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, most noticeably between Fitzwilliam Darcy and Mark Darcy. Also, Helen Fielding has said in many interviews that Bridget Jones’ Diary was based upon both Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and the 1995 BBC adaptation of it. The decision to cast Colin Firth as Darcy reflects this as he played the ‘real’ Mr Darcy in the BBC adaptation.
The Telegraph describes the third new novel Mad About the Boy perfectly, saying “And Bridget also finds herself having to compete in a vastly changed, less innocent world; as one blogger has put it at the weekend, we were all “drunker, thinner, richer” when Bridget started in 1995 – a pre-9/11 age where the housing market was starting to boom, being able to dial 1471 to find out who had called your landline was a thrill and (try to explain this to the twerking generation) a man getting out of a lake in a wet shirt could be seen as the erotic moment of the decade.”
Does this show us, in this decade, in a positive light? Or does it make us reminisce about the “good old days”, when people were more easily amused, and the smaller things made a person happy….?