I'm sure that various parts of this entry will surprise you, my friends. Different people will be surprised about different parts of it, in different ways.
Some of you will be surprised by this. I read a lot and would consider myself to be reasonably well-read, yet I have always shied away from what could be considered 'classic' literature. I am certainly no fan of wordy buggers like Dickens and Hardy. I have to say that I just find their work incredibly dull. I know that others find them compelling, but they are just not for me.
Recently, those nice people at Amazon had an offer. As a result of that offer I received a parcel which had, I think, seven books of classic literature in it, for which I paid the miniscule sum of ten of our puny English pounds. Mercifully, there was no Dickens or Hardy. There were, however, copies of Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility.
Some of you will be surprised by this. I had never read any Jane Austen before. Perhaps in my mind I had lumped it in with the other literature that bored me, I don't know. I do remember someone telling me when I was about eighteen that she was probably the best author to have written in the English language and that I would do well to make myself familiar with her work. I didn't.
Well, and some of you will be surprised by this, I am now reading Pride and Prejudice. What is more, and some of you - and I think I know who you are - will not be surprised by this in the least, I am really enjoying it. It is incredibly funny, in its own way it tears into the pomposity of the society it portrays and does so in a way that appeals to me on so many levels. There, I've surprised myself too.
So, I ask you, my friends, particularly those of you who do appreciate Jane Austen, which of her books is your favourite and why?