I have a really hard time remembering when I first discover someone or something. I'm never thinking at the time, "Here is the first day I discover something that will change my life!" However, I am pretty sure I discovered Miss Austen my senior year of high school. If I can recall, we had a huge list of books and had to read so many of them in a month (I think). Anyway, I think that is when I first discovered Pride and Prejudice. I for sure know that was my first Austen book. I remember at the time I wasn't too in to classics, but I recall speeding my way through the book and just loving it! I also remember requesting the mini series from the library and watching it along with reading the book. And I did all of this without realizing all the hype surrounding the mini series or the book itself. I knew virtually nothing of Austen at the time.
It was a few years before I bought a physical copy of Pride and Prejudice, and it also took a few years before I dived in to reading the rest of her novels. And the rest is history!
Jane Austen's work opened up so many worlds for me: the world of classics; the world of the Regency; the world of brilliant literature. Through her I discovered other great authors and books and I've never looked back.
Pride and Prejudice has always been my favorite (shocker), but Persuasion is also a deeply loved book that I probably would have to tie at first with Pride and Prejudice.
Jane Austen was the first author I could legitimately call a favorite and my introduction into classic literature. Her novels I have used as escapism during a time where I was less than happy. Thank you, Miss Austen, and Happy Birthday!