I don’t remember how old I was – somewhere between teens and twenties – when I read my first Jane Austen novel, but I do remember which one it was, Emma. I was captivated, and went on to read all the Austen novels in short order. I recently bought a Kindle and downloaded a number of well-loved (and free!) books to have with me in case of emergency … I never know when a visit to the doctor or dentist will be a 5 minute wait or when it will be an hour … so had occasion recently to make good use of it (:angry:). I do have some books on the Kindle that I’ve not read before, but if you know you may be interrupted at any moment, something familiar is easier to get along with. As it was, I was called in to an appointment only yesterday in the middle of the proposal scene in P&P! :lol:

I must have read P&P a number of times now, as well as having at least two versions on DVD (for comparison’s sake, you understand … I have two each of Persuasion and S&S, too!) but reading through this time, for the first time I understood the change in Lizzy’s affections towards Darcy. And it is written with far more skill than I had ever recognised. I suppose it’s because I am now so familiar with the story that the emotions are more accessible to me. I am not concentrating on the details of who said what to whom, but on the details, sometimes barely hints, that are scattered along the way, and which, of course, the films are too brief to capture.

Perhaps the same is true as we read the Bible. I have been a Christian for over 30 years now … I have read the bible through a number of times (not as often as I should) … but each time I see something new, perhaps a little detail here or there, but sometimes something so huge I can’t understand why I didn’t notice it before. Familiarity may breed contempt, but familiarity with the written word (whether God’s or Jane Austen’s) allows us to go deeper – if indeed the quality of writing will stand the scrutiny! But the story has to hold us, draw us in, or we shall be diverted by boredom.

I will read some new titles soon but I have just downloaded Emma (for all of 68p) … I wonder what fresh insights I’ll find there? I can’t wait to get started :D

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