In February, I watched several contemporary romance movies that integrated the person of author Jane Austen or the characters from her novels into their scripts.

I took a break from reading recently published novels and revisited Jane Austen. I first read Pride and Prejudice during high school, apart from English class, and I used to reread it once a year. I now own my mother’s copy of seven novels by Jane Austen in one volume. I intended to finish all seven before reading another book. However, I stopped reading in the middle of Emma after reading Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Mansfield Park to return to more recently written novels.

The small size of the font used in the volume is hard on my eyes. For me as a reader, the antiquated language (did they really speak to one another like that?) is sometimes hard to wade through, but I believe it’s a reflection of the usage of her time in English history (1775-1817). I expect to finish Emma, and then read Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, and Lady Susan.

I write contemporary romance, and I enjoy reading historical fiction. To me, Jane’s books are historical, but to her they were contemporary, and in them she critiqued the society she knew using understatement, satire, sarcasm, and humor. She revealed the good and bad of human nature. And she wrote good stories. Her characters are interesting and complex, her descriptions are well-written, and her plots multifaceted.

My favorite Jane Austen novel is still Pride and Prejudice. In my opinion there’s more action and dialogue (showing) and fewer long paragraphs of explanation and thought (telling) than in her other novels.