My mother gave me a copy of Pride & Prejudice. I remember reading it and thinking what a cool person Jane Austen was. I loved the tragedy of love that she wrote about and she was very modern for her time. Her books still represent the angst we have as women.

Her characters had honesty and individuality. They represented layers of womanhood – from the super pretty to the plain and fragile. Women were ranked by their looks, and that hasn’t changed. In Pride & Prejudice, Mrs Bennet was only looking for her daughters to up their game and move up in society, which we still do. Jane Austen saw the comedy in the pursuit of so-called happiness. She was part of the first wave of women literature and paved the way for others.