1. Jane Austen is hilariously funny, particularly in mocking the rituals of manners, politeness, empty admiration, false modesties, class hierarchy and ambition, and courtship. She would've fit right in with most of my pals.
2. I love the 1813 wordplay, with regular use of such language as:
a) "gratulation," a word once independent of the prefix "con-" and surely based on the same root as
b) "in the mean while," once two words. "Meanwhile's" former incarnation emphasized that it was a common, mean thing to have to wait for a person, a letter, etc.
c) "style" spelled as "stile" and "stayed" as "staid." They really liked the letter i back then.
d) "condescending" is a postive characteristic. It is admired, for example, that a lady of high rank (in this case, Lady Catherine de Bourgh (!) 'descends' from her rank to share dinner or conversation or compliments with people who are 'lower' than her. She is much admired for meeting people 'on their level.'
3. So much of the story is told in dialogue and in letters … Austen's very good about placing the story fully in the hands of the characters themselves. This is particularly important for closing distance between the reader and the ensemble cast. Also, in dialogue, Austen lets some of the characters hang themselves–commentary isn't needed to reveal the absurdities.
4. I love that family homes have names: "Longbourn," "Hunsford," "Lucas Lodge." Takes me back to the days as a kid, when, upon reading Anne of Green Gables, I attempted to name my family's home something along the lines of "Clark Court." Despite days of awkwardly referring to my home in that way, it did not catch on.
5. The characters play whist. Just like it's nothing.
That's for starters, at least, about why I'm enjoying this book so much. And you should know that I first shared these thoughts in an email to the guy who wrote this great poem.