'It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.' I read Austen's opening line for the first time aged approx. 15 years old, I never dreamt I would spend years returning to reread it. I'm sure my teenage self would be dismayed to think I've spent so much time hanging around Longbourn with the Bennet sisters. At the time, I read it as a simple tale of five sisters, without understanding a fraction of the historical detail, the social context or even much knowledge of the author. I reread the book in my early twenties and it was that occasion which hooked my interest. I could appreciate the layers of detail, the characters, the historical relevance and yes, had an understanding of Jane Austen's world, plus her humour.
As I sit writing this entry, I'm giggling to myself that I own five editions, which I'll admit is quite a conservative number compared to the editions I could have bought over the years, given the times I've reread. With each read, I spot a detail or piece of dialogue, which I swear is newly inserted and can't believe I haven't spotted before - but isn't that the essence of a good book! Like a good friend, they provide what you need through the ages.
Pride and Prejudice published 210 years ago today!