During secondary school I had to study Pride and Prejudice, by non other than Miss Jane Austen. Before then I had been an avid reader or teen fiction. Yes, I was and still am to some degree a Twi-Hard.
Studying this novel changed me though, I feel in love with the classics. Although I do find them partially less engaging than modern fiction my desire to read them overturned that issue. Pride and Prejudice now has a place as my joint favourite book, along with Shadow of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron.
The favour I have for this book is largely down to my teacher. Miss M adored Austen and P&P was her favourite, so she taught with such a passion for the novel I couldn’t help but fall in love with it. However, in my later teens I stopped reading classics because I stopped being told to. Up until last month I hadn’t read an Austen since I was 16. However I stumbled upon the movie Pride, Prejudice and Zombies on Netflix and my interest was peaked once again.
So I reread the novel, and watched the various adaptations again. Still I wanted more, so now I have branched out to the other Austen novels I have either forgotten or never read.
I can honestly say I am so happy about this. I know it sounds hopelessly romantic of me, but I do find myself sighing and looking wistfully as I read. I have in the past been called cold, not because I am a bad person, merely because I don’t engage emotionally in the same way others do. Yet, Austen’s writing has the power to make me engage in the quests for love she depicts. Of course not ignoring the intrigue at the deception she portrays in many of these stories.
I know many people who turn their noses up at the classics, as some do at modern fiction. I aim to embrace both. If its a good story that is well told, then sign me up. I just wish I had more time for reading. In many of these novels, the characters are said to explore the library’s of various residences. This and my recent reengaging with reading has made me want to expand my book collection. I hope one day I have shelves upon shelves of books from across the centuries. Its an odd thing to hope for, but who wants to be typical.
Update: Upon writing this I decided to have a look at the Austen Centre in Bath, as I am planning on visiting a friend there soon, and wow. Their gift shop has some amazing things, I must remember if I get accepted to my MA course to treat myself to something from there! They have wax seals, beautiful P&P notebooks and of course amazing writing sets… Oh if only my bank balance weren’t such an unpleasant site right now!