I'm trying to remember when I fell in love with romance literature and can only guess that it was watching fairy tales in the movies. I remember a lovely book of Grimm's Fairy Tales that my uncle gave me (it had glorious watercolor prints of Cinderella and Rapunzel and Snow White). I know that I read Fifteen by Beverly Cleary when I was ten, and an aunt gave me Little Women when I was eleven. At twelve my parents subscribed to the Best Loved Girls' Book-of-the-Month Club books (all romances and all devoured as soon as I received them). Somehow I stopped reading for pleasure in junior high and high school, then rediscovered romances in the 1980s and was hooked again. Sometime in there I saw the Greer Garson, Laurence Olivier movie version and decided to read Pride and Prejudice for the first time. Like so many, I was enchanted.
As I am enchanted by the most recent version of the story on film. This Joe Wright version with Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet is delightful. Knightley is (finally) an Elizabeth of youth and spirit. Matthew MacFaydn is handsome in a "real" way (and his voice!) Donald Sutherland's Mr. Bennet is long-suffering but not hen-pecked; Mrs. Bennet may flutter about but in this version it is Mr. Bennet who runs the estate. Mr. Collins is a riot, Charlotte's move to the dark side is hilarious. I want to attend that first public ball!
Perhaps I'll have it memorized by the time the new Pirates comes out.