Books you read growing up are special, they stay with you and feel like old friends each time you pick them up to enjoy them once again, Pride and Prejudice is one of those well-worn favourites for me. My first copy came from a car boot sale, I was staying with my grandparents for a week during the summer holidays and on a particularly warm Sunday morning we were up, out and on the hunt for a treasure or two at an eye-wateringly early hour. I'd already read and enjoyed my first Jane Austen novel - a tattered paperback edition of Sense and Sensibility picked up for a few pence at a table top sale - so when I saw another Jane Austen in a book box for a few pence it was a foregone conclusion that with some change burning a hole in my pocket it would be coming home with me. Possibly the best purchase I have ever made. I spent the next few days cramming in a chapter whenever I could and once I'd reached the end I wanted to re-read it straight away!
Yesterday marked 200 years since Pride and Prejudice was first published, two centuries since the Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy fascination began capturing the hearts of readers everywhere and still thousands upon thousands of copies are sold each year. I can understand why - aside from the slow burning romance - there is so much comedy to be found in Lizzie's everyday existence, and I think most Jane Austen fans would agree there are one or two characters from the book who can always be found in our own lives!