Jane Austen

Jane Austen is born 16 December 1775. in Hampshire, England. She died 18 July 1817 at the age of 41. In her life she wrote 6 novels that are the most widely read in English literature. Her books are considered romantic fiction. Her irony and wit bring the stories of Regency England to life.

Although popular now, her books were originally published anonymously. During the years between 1811 and 1816 she published four novels and began to gain some notoriety. As the youngest daughter in a large family, she received some of her education from her father, a minister who ran a boy's school, and her older brothers. But, the vast majority of her education came from books. She was a voracious reader.

During her childhood, she, her brothers and sister, Cassandra spent their evenings entertaining their parents and neighbors. They put on plays, played music and read stories. Jane was not the only writer in her family, but, the only one to take the time to pursue it. It was her brother, Henry and her father who pushed her to publish and even paid for the first publications. Henry became her agent, and her whole family was helpful in her writing career.

After she died, her brother, Henry and sister, Cassandra had her last two books published, Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. For the first time her name was put on the book, instead of '"by a lady". Henry pulled a few strings with some contacts in the clergy and had Jane interred in Winchester Cathedral. Her brother, James wrote a lovely epitaph praising her personal qualities and mentioning the “extraordinary endowments of her mind' but managed to leave out her achievements as a writer.

Persuasion

"Persuasion", published in 1817, is Jane Austen's last completed novel. It is a love story for older adults. Anne Elliot is twenty-seven years old, which is considered a spinster in this time period. She has only loved once, but that was about eight years ago. She was then persuaded to end the engagement because his financial circumstances were not high enough for the daughter of a … [Read more...]

Sense and Sensibility

Published in 1811, "Sense and Sensibility" is a novel about two sisters and the opposite methods with which they deal with love. Originally written by Jane Austen as an epistolary novel (written in the form of letters) it was titled "Elinor and Marianne". Whenever Austen decided to actually send it to a publisher, she changed the title to "Sense and Sensibility". The first publication … [Read more...]

Pride and Prejudice

First published in 1813., "Pride and Prejudice" is thought by some to be Jane Austen's greatest work. The story follows Elizabeth Bennet and the Bennet family through a time of courtship and manners during the British Regency period. The matriarch of the Bennet family, Mrs. Bennet, is determined to find husbands for her five daughters. When the new tenant of a neighboring farm, Mr. … [Read more...]