In a remote Hertfordshire village, far off the good coach roads of George III's England, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet -- a country squire of no great means and his scatterbrained wife -- must marry off their five vivacious daughters. At the heart of this all-consuming enterprise are the headstrong second daughter Elizabeth and her aristocratic suitor Fitzwilliam Darcy, two lovers in whom pride and prejudice must be overcome before love can bring the novel to its magnificent conclusion.
British illustrator Oxenbury, best known for her acclaimed depictions of baby and toddler life, has undertaken the ambitious challenge of illustrating Carroll's classic dreamscape. This is the second new edition of Alice this season, and though it is a welcome addition, it suffers a bit by comparison with Lisbeth Zwerger's version . Oxenbury's Wonderland is a soft, beautiful springtime world that is a pleasure to observe, but it lacks Zwerger's sense of mystery and Carroll's intellectual angularity. As for Oxenbury's Alice, she's pretty and blonde, but she lacks personality and may be too jarringly contemporary in appearance for some readers. Nevertheless, Oxenbury is a brilliant watercolorist, and her pictures are beautifully designed, as is the book itself. The thick, elegant, cream-colored paper is a visual and tactile delight. Michael Cart