Some of you might think the books of Jane Austen are my favourite - however my all time favourite, the one I have read many many times is in fact written by Charlotte Bronte and her wonderful book Jane Eyre.
Now I can hear you say, why is she telling me this - Charlotte was born on this day in 1816 the third of six children. Sadly she died at the young age of 38 along with her unborn child.
I first read Jane Eyre at school as part of English studies, I was 16 and just fell in love with it (it was the same year we read Wuthering Heights which I found too depressing). Jane is a strong, feisty young woman who is stubborn and determined to make the most out of her life no matter what is thrown her way. For the times it was written these were quite modern thoughts. In fact her Jane's character continued to work, allowing her to keep her independence, when she could have married St John Rivers - but she was only going to marry for love.
I have lost count of the number of times I read it and it still brings much joy!! Many versions of Jane Eyre have been made for the screen, I have seen four of the eleven, with a twelfth being made in 2011 (according to Wikipedia!) . I particularly like the latest version (2006). I get very annoyed when filmmakers skip parts from books and they have certainly done it Jane Eyre with one version almost cutting out the part where Jane spends time with the Rivers family. Even the 2006 version isn't perfect and does have a slightly different ending (which I quite like).
I have to admit I have not read any other of Charlotte Bronte's books which include Shirley and Villette.