Discovering Austen – IRIS LIM DEBUT!

Discovering Austen – IRIS LIM DEBUT!

Hi Austen lovers, I’m Iris, and I am very privileged and honored to join the wonderful Austen Authors team! I’ll start my blogging journey here with a walk down memorable lane about how I first discovered Austen, and I hope to learn about your story as well.

I grew up in a home where both parents were voracious readers but not big fans of fiction. As a result, my mother made it a rule that she would only buy literary classics for us, since she trusted their quality to be better without her having the time to read everything she bought us. It did not matter what genre the book was. She would only purchase things Penguin classics or other such publishers carried.

Just like that, serendipitously, I first read Pride and Prejudice as a fourteen-year-old without even knowing I was starting a literary classic and my first ever true romance novel. Without any preconceptions and, shall we say, prejudices, I traveled through the book with Elizabeth’s eyes, taking on every emotion she had. I hated Mr. Darcy, I was charmed by Mr. Wickham, I shouted “What?” very loudly when Darcy declared his love, and I sat with my mouth agape as Wickham’s misdeeds, both toward Georgiana and Lydia, came to light.

Suffice it to say I was incredibly shocked and incredibly moved when Our Dear Couple got together in the end. I fell in love with Mr. Darcy, with Austen’s writing, and with romance itself in one fell swoop. I picked up the rest of Austen’s books without delay, and I still name her as the only novelist whose entire collection of completed books I have read.

My reading habits continued to change throughout the years. Going through college with a concentration in English left me very little time to spend in leisure reading. It’s not easy to lose oneself in a lighthearted romance when one has forty pages of Milton to read overnight! With life’s various demands getting in the way, it took me a few years to get back to reading as a pleasure activity.

When it comes to Austen, in fact, it took a special event called rejecting, regretting, then reuniting with and marrying my own Mr. Darcy of a husband to get me to truly appreciate the original Mr. Darcy again! Since then, Pride and Prejudice has become inextricable from my life. I read it, I reread it (sometimes in different languages), I explore adaptations, I devour variations, and I even named my children after Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth.

Every Austen journey is unique, and I can’t wait to hear yours. What got you to first discover Austen’s works? What made you grow to love them? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Sharing is Caring!
Follow by Email
3 2 votes
SUBSCRIBE (optional)
Email alert of:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
June 25, 2022 6:03 PM

Welcome to Austen Authors!
Thanks for sharing your journey. I had first discovered JA when I saw the movie Pride & Prejudice starring Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson. I read the book and was surprised by all the differences. Since then I’ve read all the books and have tried to watch all the adaptations I can find.

June 20, 2022 12:18 AM

Welcome! Thank you for sharing.

I started getting hooked with P & P when I watched Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. There were just some parts in this movie that stuck and after that, I read variation stories and then finally the original.

June 19, 2022 1:59 AM

Thanks for sharing and great fun reading each comment! Shockingly enough I never managed to finish P&P itself … Now dispise me if you will ? My addiction started with Emma Thomsons S&S and then Matthew Macfadyen won me over to P&P, I have 200+ paperbacks of P&P variations before I realized that I could help save trees by reading Kindle and FF sites instead (and only needed to pack my iPad instead of heavy books when travelling). It’s my guilty pleasure as it’s totally opposite my no-nonsense RL but I’m totally addicted. My husband is close to jealousy of D and of course mocks me constantly. I’ve read most of your stories and enjoyed them immensely so looking forward to many more with your excellent flow, believable dialogue, and great wit ?

June 19, 2022 2:57 AM
Reply to  Iris Lim

You’re welcome and thanks for the quick respose! I’m a novice on blogs so didn’t realize that emojies don’t work. Missing a few in my post above, so sorry about the misplaced ?’s

Linny B
Linny B
June 17, 2022 12:21 AM

Welcome to AuAu! thank you for sharing your stories!

June 16, 2022 1:07 PM

I also discovered Jane Austen as a teenager in the 70s. Somewhere between Heinlein and Tolkien I don’t even remember how it was recommended to me since I mostly read fantasy or science fiction at the time. It did open a world of historic romantic fiction that I continue to enjoy.

Sarah P
Sarah P
June 16, 2022 11:58 AM

I discovered Pride and Prejudice as a teenager as part of a school project, which was so boring, it would have put anyone off reading it. This was followed by Emma, and Sense and Sensitivity. Fair as to say t didn’t think a lot about Miss Austen.

But then in 1995, the BBC did their adaptation with Colin Firth, which became ardent viewing in my house. In fact it pushed me to re-read the books, and then I truly fell in love with P&P.

With that infamous scene with him coming out of the pond, to great Elizabeth. How could I not change my opinion.

I have since become obsessed with reading FanFiction, including your wonderful stories Iris. And look forward to reading more of them, as well as others from the talented writers on AuAu.

Last edited 1 month ago by Sarah P
Sue Barr
June 16, 2022 10:06 AM

I am so glad you joined the AuAu family, Iris. Like others here, I have followed your stories on the forums and look forward to much more.

June 16, 2022 2:33 AM

Welcome! It is so nice to have you. My mother was an enormous Austen fan. As soon as she finished all of her books, she started them over again. She’s the reason I found this talented writer.

Mary B
Mary B
June 15, 2022 11:07 PM

Hah! Makes me smile. I was also 14. I stumbled upon a copy of Pride and Prejudice on our family bookshelves the summer I turned 14 half a century ago, before all the subsequent film adaptions were made. I had never even heard of Jane Austen.
I still remember being gobsmacked by the revelations in Mr Darcy’s letter and walking around in a lovely daze for three days after finishing the book.
Certainly one of my more memorable reading experiences.

Marie H
Marie H
June 15, 2022 5:40 PM

Hi Iris! So happy to see you here. I’ve read and enjoyed many of your books. I read P&P in high school, but my interest was really piqued when the 1995 BBC production aired in Canada. I watched it faithfully a few times a year after that. It wasn’t until late 2015 that I discovered JAFF though, so I’m a late comer. Now I’m addicted like so many. Wishing you every success!

Last edited 1 month ago by Marie H
Riana Everly
June 15, 2022 2:26 PM

Welcome! It’s so great to have you here, and I’m looking forward to getting to know you.
My dad thrust Emma into my hands when I was 11. I think he was tired of me begging for the next Nancy Drew, and wanted me to read something “real.” (Insert eye-roll here.)
I don’t think I understood half of it, but I enjoyed it enough.
It wasn’t till we read NA and P&P in high school, though, that I really came to appreciate Austen. And yes – my shock when Darcy turned out to be the good guy and Wickham the bad guy was palpable. LOL
Austen’s stories are lovely, but her language and her wit are something to which I can only hope to aspire.

Kirstin Odegaard
June 15, 2022 2:17 PM

Welcome, Iris! Your mom must be happy that her introduction to the classics led you to become a writer.
I first read P&P my senior year of high school and instantly fell in love with it.
I think I’d love to have a cup of tea with you and hear the story of you and your husband. I love a good How We Met story. Sounds like it’s great fodder for your writing.
Happy to have you!

J. W. Garrett.
J. W. Garrett.
June 15, 2022 12:22 PM

Welcome to our party, Iris. I’ve followed you on the forums. It is so much fun seeing how many different variations authors can come up with for our dear couple. Before RL [real life] got in the way, I tried to read P&P every year. I still remember the shock and horror the first time Elizabeth read Mr. Darcy’s letter explaining Wickham’s nefarious activities. I was stunned and crushed with regards to my own prejudice against this good man who had been so grievously rejected and yet still loved Elizabeth. Whew! I look forward to your posts and what you have to share with us. Blessings.

Gianna Thomas
June 15, 2022 11:52 AM

Welcome to AUAU, Iris. I have thoroughly enjoyed your stories on FanFic and look forward to reading more of your published works.

cindie snyder
cindie snyder
June 15, 2022 10:24 AM

I first read Pride and Prejudice after seeing the movie with Keira Knightley. I picked up a copy and fell in love with it and have since read the rest of her books and some variations over and over! I was never a classic lover but my tube has been changed!lol Welcome to Austen Authors!

Regina Jeffers
June 15, 2022 9:54 AM

Welcome to the team, Iris. I am so glad you decided to join us. As for me, I read Austen when I was about 12 years of age, beginning with Pride and Prejudice, then Emma, and, finally, Persuasion, before I was off reading some other author. I was deeply in love with all her heroes. Before Austen, I read a great deal from the classics, mostly Jules Verne, for I was obsessed with “science fiction.” Also, Oscar Wilde. The Brontë sisters. Shakespeare’s tragedies and comedies (not so much his poetry). I preferred Anthony Trollope to Dickens. Later, I began reading more “modern” classics, written by Agatha Christy (love a well-written mystery), Ernest Hemingway, Arthur Conan Doyle, Edith Wharton, etc. I was sitting and reading children’s books as early as 2 and was in college at 15. I still devour a couple hundred books each calendar year.

Jean Stillman
Jean Stillman
June 15, 2022 8:32 AM

Hi, Irish! I love this group of authors and know you will be a great addition to their ranks. So, congratulations and welcome!

I first read Jane Austen while I was in high school. I read “Pride and Prejudice” first, then several years later, I read “Persuasion.” At that point, I had to read the rest of her books. Sometime around 2015, I came across a variation of “Pride and Prejudice.” Now, I own more than 200 of these in my Kindle. A bit obsessed according to my family. But, I love it!
And I love that your mom started you with the classics! I had a wonderful English lit teacher who insisted we get to know the classics. I did not always love them, but I certainly appreciated them.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x