Q & A with Jane Austen Made Me Do It Authors: Question 2 & Giveaway!

Jane Austen Made Me Do It, edited by Laurel Ann Nattress (2011)Continuing the JAMMDI author interview that began last week, today I ask my anthology authors “the” question that all Janeites ask each other…

2.) When were you introduced to Jane Austen? Which novel did you read, and what was your first impression?

  • I first read Austen in high school as the first entry in my determination to read “the classics.” I think the only Austen my school library owned was Pride and Prejudice and it immediately became my favorite novel, displacing Jane Eyre from that pedestal. I was enchanted in the deepest sense of the term. – Pamela Aidan
  • I was introduced to Jane Austen in college while completing a minor in English.  I purchased a copy of Pride and Prejudice per the instructions on the course syllabus for English literature and had no idea what to expect.  From the first line, “It is a truth, universally acknowledged…” I was hooked.  I devoured the novel, chose to use it for my midterm paper in which I discussed the likeness of Austen’s characterizations to contemporary people I knew and discussed how relatable her themes were. In addition, I was in awe of the way in which Austen shaped the reader’s prejudice against Darcy along with Elizabeth’s.  Our feelings and impressions parallel her own until we are utterly, utterly shocked to learn that that nice Wickham fellow is such a scoundrel and that Darcy can actually come down from that high horse of his to help Elizabeth and to love her.  But I know that I never felt more animosity towards a main character than I did when I read the scene of the first proposal.  And, in turn, my own feelings had so reversed by the end of the novel that I was actually cheering for Darcy during the second proposal.  Austen’s ability to shape the reader’s attitude towards the characters shows a masterful hand at story crafting.  And on so many levels, her artistry is apparent.  From story crafting down, characterization to diction and figurative speech.  – Brenna Aubrey
  • I first read Pride and Prejudice in my aunt’s library—which was a wonderful room, filled with books and unfortunately uncomfortable chairs—during a week of persistent rain, when I was twelve.  I’m the last of six girls, and had already gone through two of my sisters’ weddings, so the story made immediate sense on multiple levels.  I particularly liked the fact that Jane made no bones about the Bennet girls’ varying degrees of affection for one another and for their parents—a blood relationship doesn’t always dictate a caring one.  This is a theme she repeats throughout her work, although it gets little attention. – Stephanie Barron
  • I first met Jane Austen through an excerpt in my high school British Authors textbook—Chapter 2 of Sense and Sensibility, in which John Dashwood contemplates how best to help support his newly widowed stepmother and half-sisters, and within minutes his wife talks him down from a significant financial settlement to occasional gifts of game. The scene is a wonderful example of Austen’s ability to simultaneously deliver expository information, develop character, and advance the plot in only a few paragraphs, and even as a teenager I was so impressed that I wanted to read more. I went to my public library in search of S&S but it wasn’t available, so I checked out Pride and Prejudice instead—and who among us wasn’t hooked after reading P&P? – Carrie Bebris
  • I think it must have been Pride and Prejudice. I remember that we had an edition at home with the lovely illustrations by Hugh Tomson, so it appealed to me perhaps at a younger age that it would have done otherwise. We also had a copy of The Scarlet Pimpernel with illustrations, which had the same effect. I loved it because it’s a wonderful romance novel, and that was already my favourite story. – Jo Beverley
  • It was Pride and Prejudice when I was about twenty, and my first impressions were positive enough to last a lifetime. – Diana Birchall
  • Long before I’d read a word of Jane Austen, I caught Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier in Pride and Prejudice (on television, of course, playing on something like The Million Dollar Movie). Except for the fact that both Garson and Olivier looked far too mature for their roles (Garson may have looked fifty at fifteen), their dialog was a match for the quick-witted madcap-heiress stuff of the 1930’s I so loved. What a surprise to find that most of that smart-gal dialogue was from the original Austen text. – Diane Meier
  • Oh, a girl-friend, naturally, made the introduction. I was eighteen, in Ireland, learning how to be gooey and romantic, and a leggy girl whom I’ll call Leonora (not her real name) impressed me with her efforts to speak “like a Jane Austen heroine,” she said. She wasn’t that good at it (her flat County Waterford accent interfered), but I loved the language – and Leonora’s tortoiseshell glasses. To impress her I took Mansfield Park out of the local library. It worked, but the summer ended, we all moved along and for a while I transferred my love to Ms. Austen and her novel, and it’s the tempo of Mansfield Park that I most remember, the steady, rolling movement of the English countryside, and, beneath the prose, the echoing stillness of the great house. From there I tried to give myself the treat of reading Austen once a year. And Jane is much better now than she was then. (Leonora, in case you’re interested, married a farmer and had nine children. One of them is named “Jane.”) – Frank Delaney
  • I was introduced to Jane Austen when I was fourteen, at school, in the form of Pride and Prejudice. I absolutely loved it, though not because of the romance (can you believe it?). I confess that at that age I thought Jane Eyre was much more romantic (shudder). Oddly enough, I liked Pride and Prejudice because I could relate to it as a teen. I had two sisters, one of them a bit like Jane and the other a bit like Lydia, so it made a lot of sense to me. I especially loved the family dynamics, particularly when Mrs. Bennet was involved. I thought the novel was hilarious. Lord, how I did laugh! I had a wonderful English teacher, too, and that really made a huge difference. We read the novel aloud in class. She always played the role of Mrs. Bennet, and she did it in a very exaggerated, extravagant way, really bringing out the comic aspects. Until this day I can still hear her voice ringing in my ears. What a difference a good teacher can make! I wish I knew where she was now. I would love to let her know what I’m doing now, and how it all started in that class of hers! – Monica Fairview
  • I discovered Pride and Prejudice at my local library when I was about twelve years old. I started laughing on the first page and didn’t stop. I loved it. – Amanda Grange
  • I first met Jane Austen in a British literature class in college. We read Emma and Pride and Prejudice. I was hooked for life. – Syrie James
  • I very narrowly escaped being turned off Jane Austen for life at high school, evaded her through college, and fell in love when I lived in Bath and realized as I walked the streets that the characters in Persuasion did. So I was a latecomer. – Janet Mullany
  • I give my mother Carolyn all the credit for introducing me to Jane Austen in my pre-teen years. She had a passion for romantic movies and we watched many old Hollywood classics together, including the 1940 Pride and Prejudice staring Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson. I enjoyed it very much but was not bitten with the “Jane” bug quite yet. That would happen when I was in college and saw the 1980 BBC/PBS adaptation of Pride and Prejudice on Masterpiece Theatre. I read the novel immediately and have continued to do so every year since. I remember struggling with the language the first time I read it, but I knew from the mini-series that the story was great and wanted to relive it again through the novel. By the end, I was comfortable with the early nineteenth- century language and was inspired to read the rest of her canon. Since then, I have not had a backward glance. – Laurel Ann Nattress
  • I saw the old Greer Garson/Laurence Olivier 1940 Pride and Prejudice movie when I was about eleven, and loved it. My Mum found Pride and Prejudice in the library for me, and I do remember struggling at first with the antiquated language. The 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice made me re-read the novels, and I found myself returning to them over and over again, and wanting to know more about Jane’s life. – Jane Odiwe
  • As a college junior, I spent a semester in London at Westfield College in the leafy village of Hampstead. That winter was incredibly cold, and so I spent a great deal of it curled up under a duvet, radiator blazing away, as I worked my way through some of the greatest novels in English literature.  Somewhere in early February, I discovered Jane Austen.  I have no idea why I hadn’t read any of her books before, but I made up for it that winter! – Beth Pattillo
  • I was introduced to Jane Austen at school when I was sixteen as we were asked read Pride and Prejudice for our examinations. I was amazed how so many of the issues facing young girls back then, are intrinsically the same now – whether or not to marry for money or for love… misunderstangs… hurt feelings… heartbreak… nothing much has changed in 200 years! – Alexandra Potter
  • I started reading Jane Austen so long ago that I have no recollection of which was the first novel I read.  The first one I remember vividly is Emma and, while I loved the book, I really didn’t like the character on first reading.  I’ve grown to appreciate Emma’s growth as the years have passed. – Myretta Robens
  • I first read Pride and Prejudice when I was about 10 or 11. While I’m certain that much of the nuance escaped me, the clarity and cleverness did not. For characters who were given very little physical description (which is always a significant hook to a young reader) they were remarkably three dimensional and very entertaining. – Jane Rubino
  • Mom (Jane Rubino) introduced me to Pride and Prejudice when I was 12 or so — specifically the 1980 mini-series.  It was so good, I didn’t want to shut it off and go out to dinner.  Imagine my surprise when Mom told me it was based on a book!  I read and liked it (but it had so many big words).  I started to appreciate her later, when I realized that Austen had humor to go with those big words.  But my love for Austen really developed during a fantastic Jane Austen seminar in college.  Ten Austen fans locked up in a small room for hours — it really fostered the fanaticism. – Caitlen Rubino-Bradway
  • My mother was a lifelong fan, and was reading P&P on the day a stroke carried her off at the age of 92. My godmother always used to say ‘When in pain, send for Jane.’ I was brought up knowing that Jane was the most special of all special writers, but I have no recollection of reading her for the first time, and no idea which novelI read first. I must have been very young indeed. I wish I could remember what I thought of them first time round… – Maya Slater
  • I call myself a late-blooming Janeite, as I didn’t read her books until I was in my late 20s. I read Emma first, and liked it very much. I remember reading the scene where Miss Bates comes into the ball at the Crown and talks without pause for two pages, and suddenly wondering when Jane Austen had written the book. I understood that the book was set in the early 19th century, but I had little idea of when the author herself was writing. I read the little half-page biography at the beginning of the book, expecting to read that she was writing in the 1930s or so about an earlier time period, and was astonished to discover she was writing about her contemporary time period. I don’t know why I had the idea that 18th century authors were humorless. I’ve since learned better by personal acquaintance with the work of that period. (Fanny Burney’s novels, one of Jane Austen’s contemporaries, are, in places, fall-down funny.) But it is interesting to me that I assumed Austen was a modern author, because her humor felt very modern to me. A year or so later, I decided to read Pride and Prejudice, and also liked it very much. A year or so after that, I decided to read Persuasion. When I got to The Letter (that is, the letter that Captain Wentworth writes to Anne Elliot—if you’ve read the book, you know which I mean), I remember reading it and having chills and goosebumps and being near tears—truly a thrilling experience. I’ve been a huge fan of Jane Austen ever since. – Margaret C. Sullivan
  •  I read Pride and Prejudice first.  I loved Mr. Bennet, the father, and of course, Elizabeth, one of the great heroines. – Adriana Trigiani
  • I’d avoided reading Austen for many years, having had a mistaken idea that she would be too prim and proper for my youthful, bad-girl self. Talk about pride and prejudice! And then, in the mid-nineties, the film enthusiast in me became intrigued by all those Austen movies-to-be. Could it be that I’d given her short shrift? And so I saw the Ang Lee Sense and Sensibility. And read the book. And fell in love with both. Consequently, I devoured Austen’s other five major novels and have been re-reading all six ever since. – Laurie Viera Rigler
  • It’s hard to remember a time when Jane Austen hasn’t been with me.  But I do have a very vivid recollection, somewhere around fifth grade, of reading Pride and Prejudice for the first time.  My father, seeing me with the book, asked me what I thought the setting was. “England,” I said.  I was eleven.  The “duh!” was implied. He started talking about class and hierarchy and the low gentry versus the high gentry and blah, blah, blah.  I went back to Elizabeth and Darcy. Silly parents, couldn’t they see that it was a love story? – Lauren Willig

Giveaway of Jane Austen Made Me Do It

Enter a chance to win one signed copy of Jane Austen Made Me Do It, edited by Laurel Ann Nattress by leaving a comment answering when you were introduced to Jane Austen and what were your first impressions? Deadline to qualify for the drawing is 11:59 pm, Wednesday, August 15, 2012. The Winner will be announced on Thursday, August 16, 2012. Shipment Internationally. Good luck!

Jane Austen Made Me Do It: Original Stories Inspired by Literature’s Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart, edited by Laurel Ann Nattress
Ballantine Books (2011)
Trade paperback (446) pages
ISBN: 978-0345524966

© 2012 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

46 thoughts on “Q & A with Jane Austen Made Me Do It Authors: Question 2 & Giveaway!

  1. My friend recommended that I read Pride and Prejudice, and while it took me a while to get into the language (I was much more used to the Bronte’s style!), I enjoyed it and started S&S, which I didn’t like nearly as much. Luckily I read Persuasion next and that clinched my love for Austen. :)

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  2. I was first introduced to Austen in the form of high school English required reading. We were assigned “Pride & Prejudice” and I, like most of the teenagers in my class, assumed it was going to be boring and dull work getting through the whole thing. It became pretty quickly apparent to me, however, that Austen is a witty and skilled storyteller and I rapidly fell in love with her work. From then on, it was love at first read: that year, I went on to make it my mission to read all of Austen’s novels on my own time. The beginning of a beautiful author-reader relationship!

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  3. I found this intriguing in many different aspects. Most authors interviewed came to enjoy Austen at a young age, most of the ones from the U.K. were introduced at a much younger age than in the U.S., most but not all started with P&P. Many loved the 1940′s movie or were moved by the movies to dig deeper. I was thrilled to see that many of the authors were not only attracted by P&P and that many actually read S&S or Emma or something else first. I could relate to Pamela Aidan’s comment except I was in my 40′s. Hysterically enough a friend of my daughters in the 1990′s mentioned THE P&P movie. They were teens what could they know. I had never read and was never required to read British authors in my school career – in the 1960s & 1970s. So I didn’t watch this movie until 2002. I was enthralled but still didn’t feel I had to read it all tho’ I love reading. I got serious about it when a grandchild was in the hospital for a long period and I needed a stress reliever – I guess about 2003. So I’m a relative baby in this area. I checked out every novel relating to her from the library and then bought my own copies and every sequel, prequel, variation etc I could. However I still have my Bronte women and won’t give them up either. I loved the scarlet pimpernel as a child and still watch that. And I absolutely adore Lauren Willig’s Pink Series which of course isn’t based on Austen. Austen is my home base so to speak (along with more important religious material) but it has also allowed me to broaden my base and read more historical fiction, romance, reference material than I ever dreamed. I’ve read most author’s on here and some I love their other works as well if not even more – I love Amanda Grange’s other novels (the ones not based on Austen at all). The Austen blogs, goodreads and other similar sites and fanfic has allowed me to develop a love of reading in areas I never dreamed of.

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  4. Similar to Margaret Sullivan, it was _Emma_ that one me over. I’d read P&P because of the 40s film, but it didn’t initially grab me the way the novels of the Bronte sisters (or for that matter, Daphne du Maurier) did. Then in high school, the 95 mini-series came out and at least in my geeky social circle, the ability to quote scenes from that novel became a must. The older I get though, the more Austen’s novel amaze and absorb me. I finally get to teach a course on her this Spring.

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  5. I came to be Jane-ite rather late in life after watching the Emma Thompson version of the S&S – in 1995 at the age of 38 (ugh!). Until that point, I preferred novels set contemporaneously and always thought of older novels – including Austen – as outdated, outmoded, boring and not relative to my newly divorced status. But after watching the movie, I immediately purchased a used copy of S&S, ripped through it, and the addiction began…

    I read it again, then proceeded to rip through P&P, Persuasion, and Emma. This lead me to begin reading Dickens (Sr. Diane, my high school english teacher, would be proud) and other classics. For 3 years now I have been a member of my local Jane Austen Society (Norcal chapter of JASNA), and subscribe to this, as well as 2 other, Austen-era blogs. I can’t seem to get enough!

    My immediate impression was how well Austen grasps human nature (at least in my narrow world), and her sense of irony. Jane also validated me: not only do I find I can identify with the characters and their situations, but Austen had something to say to me about my life. I know, I know, she wasn’t speaking directly to me 200+ years in the future, but it often feels like she is.

    And the bonus for me is, reading Jane opened up a world of classic literature that hereto for I had avoided.

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  6. On a 15 hour car trip, headed off to college I saw the ’96 movie of P&P right after it came out on VHS. i immediately checked out the book and read it in a day or so. I moved on to Northanger Abbey (which interestingly enough no one has really mentioned) and loved it even more. I have since read and re-read them all, but NA is still my favorite. I love the wit, parody and tongue in cheek humor that JA uses and there is just something about Henry Tilney and how he falls for Catherine that always brings a smile to my face.

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  7. As a Vietnam Vet, former ‘tough guy’ and very much a man’s man, my baptism into the wonderful world of Jane Austen was a story almost stranger than fiction. Laurel Ann generously featured it right here. If you had said I would be not only reading ANYTHING by Miss Austen but totally immersed in her ‘fan-fic’ I’d have probably asked you what you had been smoking! If you haven’t read my account, you may find it highly improble and entertaining…

    http://austenprose.com/2012/01/06/reading-austen-guest-blog-by-jeffrey-ward/

    (And, as usual, I went straight to Lauren Willig’s comments first. The wit and humor in this extraordinary talent knows no bounds!

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  8. I first read P&P in my AP English class in high school. I was hooked ever since and became a life member of JASNA in the 80′s

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  9. It was P&P at school and I instantly fell in love. First Impressions really do count ;) and i have read and reread and gobbled up spin offs ever since. Thank you SO much for making it international!

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  10. I first read Pride and Prejudice when I was 18 and the witty (and snarky) narration had me in love from the very first page. I finished it wanting to be best friends with Elizabeth. I haven’t read anything else of hers yet, but they’re all on my list.

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  11. I was first introduced to Jane Austen when I was about 10 years old. My dad began getting a set of books for our family one book a month through the mail. They were big, leather bound, ornate copies of classics, and I loved them. I began to read my way through chiefly female authors, and Emma was the first work of Austen’s I came across. As a big sister, I liked the fact that she was so interested in people and stage managed things. Emma also introduced me to what has become a lifelong love of Regency England and literature about its manners and people.

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  12. It’s very hard for me to say this because I love Jane now, but the first time I picked up Pride and Prejudice(as a Freshman in high school), it took me a long time to get through the book. I was in love with the BBC movie version, so I ploughed through. But over time, Austen, as well as Lizzy and Darcy made me come back for more. It was one upper lever college english class that cemented Austen for me, when we read a couple Austen works. Persuasion is now one of my favorites!

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  13. My Mother gave me PRIDE AND PREJUDICE to read when I was about 15. This was my first foray into Austen. It look a while for my 15 year old self to get into it, but then I was hooked. This was a world I could only dream about.

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  14. Myt mother and my grandparents had a huge fight on New Years Eve when I was nine and to make up for taking me away from the family party my mother pulled out the BBC Pride and Prejudice miniseries. It was love at first site. I read the book, and then all of them, once I turned fifteen.

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  15. I was 1st introduced to Austen by, sadly, the television, but, happily, with Colin Firth as Darcy. The sister of an ex of mine was watching BBC and I was hooked on Austen! The best thing that came out of that relationship!

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  16. I read “Sense & Sensibility” when
    I was 13. I adored Marianne, and I was devastated when Williughby ran off to London and abandoned her! Lucky f

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  17. At 13 years of age it was Pride and Prejudice reading for Eng Literature and it was compulsory. I loved it then, I love it now. I still have my original book with all the little notes I took down in pencil from my English Lit teacher Miss Grey who must have had immense patience with this bunch of giggling teenagers.

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  18. My first reading of Jane Austen was in high school when Pride and Prejudice caught my eye at my library. After falling in love with Mr. Darcy I read anything Jane wrote or was written about her or her characters. I just discovered a Pride and Prejudice board book which my infant and toddler nieces now have in their possession!

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  19. I always knew Jane Austen was out there, but for some reason I never picked up one of her books until the spring of 2007. I had just turned 25 and was about to start grad school in the fall. I was also spending the week with my grandmother while my grandfather was in the hospital/nursing home going through very serious medical issues (which ultimately ended his life later that year). I had recently seen the movie version of Pride and Prejudice (the Kiera Knightly version) and really enjoyed it. In the world of books-made-into-movies the book is usually much better than the movie, so in anticipation of abundant reading time, I thought I’d pick up the book and take it for a ride. I absolutely LOVED it. Not only did I fall in love with the characters, but I also fell in love with Austen’s story telling. I have now read, and own, all her books. While I’d put all her books in my “favorites” category, there’s something about the bond made with your first Austen experience and Pride and Prejudice is, and always will be, my all time favorite book.

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  20. My grandmother gave me P&P when I
    was 12 and JanecAisyen has been my
    favorite writer – and obsession – ever since!

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  21. My (required) reading of P&P in high school didn’t make the impression on me that it seems to have made on many of your commentors. For years Jane Austen remained one of the “famous” authors that an English major is necessarily aware of, but not necessarily conversant with. It took the double media whammy of the 1995 version of P&P, coupled with the Emma Thompson S&S, to finally compel me to seek out the novels. She is no longer a only a famous author, but a favorite one as well.

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  22. I discovered Jane Austen as a young girl and loved her books from the start. It wasn’t until I got older that I appreciated just how well written they were and how insightful they are. For me Persuasion is the best of all her novels simply because the great inner strength of Anne.

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  23. Hello Jane Austin has been my favourite for so many years that ai cannot remember how it began. I am always reading one of the novels( while reading other books)and writing essays for my own amusment.To my mind she is the witiest cleversest viewer of characters and situationsI enjoy her more every day

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  24. I would think it was probably high school or college, but can’t remember. I know that I have recently discovered her again and have read all of the novels. My favorite at this time being Persuasion because I like the relationship between Anne and Captain Wentworth.

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  25. I wish I had come to Jane earlier–because now I feel like I’m constantly trying to catch up with all the lucky readers introduced to her at an early age! I was drawn in by a gateway drug–media. After watching the ‘Matthew MacFayden as Darcy’ version of the movie, I was hooked and immediately watched any version of P&P I could find, then moved on to the other movies. Once I plowed through those like a plague of locusts, I went to the bookstore and bought a copy of each of Austen’s books–and, as they say, here we are! I appreciate this blog for bringing so many related books to my attention, and therefore to my reading list!

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  26. I was first introduced to Jane Austen via the Sense and Sensibility movie featuring Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, and Kate Winslet. I was 14 years old and it was love at first sight! I immediately began reading and obsessing over Jane Austen’s amazing novels and that love has continued to this day.

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  27. I read Jane Austen in high school, Pride and Prejudice and to my surprise loved it. I never miss a chance to watch the movies over and over.

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  28. I first started reading Jane Austen in college (with P&P being my first, naturally). I became addicted right away, and Persuasion and Mansfield Park became my favorites. Now I’m addicted to all things Austen – books (anything Austen-related, except for those involving zombies and vampires; it just doesn’t seem quite right to me), movies, etc.

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  29. I was 13 when Emma Thompson’s movie version of ‘Sense and Sensibility’ came to theaters. My mother took my younger sister and me to see it and I was enthralled – and at the library the next day to check out every Austen novel I could get my hands on.

    Young as I was, I really hated that the handsome Willoughby had to be such a tool and that Marianne ended up with the “old guy.” It took years for me to get over that. Years! Get over it I did, however, and while I still feel a pang every time Willoughby deserts Marianne, I will forever love that movie because it brought me Austen – and her works have stood me in good stead for the last 17 years.

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  30. I first was introduced to Jane Austen when my Mom bought the movie Emma. I fell in love with the movie and so I decided to read some of Austen’s books. WOW! I fell in love from that moment on. I also love most of the movies that have been done, including the BBC versions, which I think are more like the books. My favorite book is Sense & Sensibility. I think her books are so sentimental and classic. I still enjoy re-reading them.

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  31. I was first introduced to Jane Austen when I was around twelve years old. My Mom had just bought the movie Emma, with Paltrow. I fell in love with the movie so I decided to try out the books. WOW! I have not stopped reading her books to this day. My favorite book is Sense & Sensibility because I think I relate to Elinor. Jane Austen’s books are so sentimental, classic, and relatable that I recommend them to everyone.

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  32. We never read Austen in high school. I’d picked up some of her books and other classics at library book sales over the years so I had three of her books. All the Austen movies they had on on P.B.S. about four years ago and the Keira Knightley/Matthew MacFadyen version of P&P got me hooked. Okay, it was the last one that really got me hooked. At first I wasn’t really into the Regency period, just the Victorian era, so it was an adjustment and an acquired taste when I started to watch the P.B.S. Austen movies. I didn’t think I’d really get to like them because the style of dress and language was different than in the late Victorian times.

    Once I got reeled in I bought the other three Austen books I didn’t have, including a nice hardcover edition of Emma from Barnes and Noble. I also somehow found out about Austen sequels, which I really love. I think I saw some displayed at the library and started looking them up on Amazon and collecting them. That’s when I started to read Pride and Prejudice. I had always been mostly a mystery reader, especially cozies and historicals.

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  33. My mom loved the storyline of Sense and Sensibility. She wore out the video watching it so much. The 1995 Pride and Prejudice was our movie. It was what we bonded over. After so many years of just watching the videos I finally wondered why I’d never actually read Jane Austen’s work. That is where the groundwork for such amazing movies came from, right?
    So I got a bound volume of her books, and started with Northanger Abbey. It happened to be the first in the book and the shortest so it seemed like a good place to start. That was the beginning. It only got better from there.

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  34. I was introduced to Jane Austen by watching a childrens show in second grade called “Wishbone”1 the first episode i saw of this show was “Furst Impression” I wanted to read more of it. I then got really intrigued shortly after when I saw Colin Firth’s Pride and Prejudice

    My life had never been the same again. I soared through reading, got to high school level by end of elementary years. :)

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  35. I read my first Austen novel in graduate school. A friend gave me Persuasion for my birthday. (The same friend also gave me my first Georgette Heyer novel for the same birthday. She has great taste!) A couple of years later I read Persuasion again, and fell even more in love. I think it’s Austen’s best book, and shows how her writing style was maturing. I so wish she would have lived longer, and been able to have a longer writing career.

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  36. I can’t say specifically when Jane Austen came into my life. I can say that once she came, she never left. Her stories are just so wonderful! Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice are my favorites. I just love getting lost in them.

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  37. The first big point was watching Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility, which prompted me to pick up the book and read it. I was a child then, so I feel a lot of it must have gone over my head, but it made me fall in love with Jane Austen. After reading other Austen novels, I reread Sense and Sensibility when I was older, and fell in love all over again.

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  38. I was officially introduced to Pride and Prejudice by a friend in college. She was horrified I’d never seen the Collin Firth version. Since, I have of course read the book…about 8 times. But really I feel I knew her before that, because every romantic comedy Hollywood has ever produced has been trying to imitate Austen.

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  40. I was a late comer to Austin. Of course the first one I read was Pride and Predjudice. I fell in love and never looked back. I was 48 years old at the time. A life long non fiction reader. I’m catching up and loving it!

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  41. I missed the deadline, but will answer anyway. I read Pride and Prejudice in high school — I remember discussing it with my best friend. I wasn’t assigned any Austen book in high school I’m sorry to say. I loved P&P and also the film with Laurence Olivier as Darcy which I saw on TV. I regret that I didn’t read any other JA book for years, but by my 20s, I was reading all of her books and continued to read them over and over. She had become my favorite writer by then, so my first impression with P&P must have been a positive one.

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