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Jane Austen Biography


Jane Austen

Jane Austen

(1775-1817) British writer. Jane Austen is now famous for her way with words, in describing the society and people of her time. At the time when she was first writing, and attempting to publish, her novels, her name was unknown. Her earliest works went unpublished until she later revised the works and re-submitted them for publication.

Jane Austen Birth & Childhood:

Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775 in Hampshire, England. Her father was Reverend George Austen, and her mother was Cassandra Leigh. Jane was the seventh child. Apart from three years of school in Oxford (and then Southampton), which she attended with her older sister, Cassandra, she was educated at home. Her brother, James, provided reading lists. Early on, she devoted time to writing: Juvenilia, History of England, Lady Susan, and Elinor and Marianne, and First Impressions.

Jane Austen Death:

Jane Austen died on July 18, 1817 at Winchester. The year of her death, she had started another novel, Sanditon, but it was left unfinished upon her death. Although the cause of Austen's final illness is not known for certain, the symptoms seem to suggest that she may have been affected by Addison's disease. Austen was 41 at the time of her death. She was buried in Winchester Cathedral on July 24, 1817.

Jane Austen Marriage:

Jane Austen never married, remaining a spinster her whole life. However, several men came into life, including: Thomas Lefroy, Samuel Blackall, and Harris Bigg-Wither. Austen accepted Bigg-Wither's proposal of marriage, but she rescinded her acceptance the next day. In the end, she never married, though she may have wanted to marry Thomas Lefroy.

Jane Austen Achievements:

Jane Austen is famous principally for her refinement of the English novel. In her works, she mirrored society: manners, customs, and beliefs. Her most famous works include six well-read novels: Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Emma. She worked magic with the commonplace, seemingly subtle, realities of life.

Jane Austen Lines from Northanger Abbey:

"Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love."
- Ch. 4

"But are they all horrid, are you sure they are all horrid?"
- Ch. 6

"History, real solemn history, I cannot be interested in... I read it a little as a duty; but it tells me nothing that does not either vex or weary me. The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars and pestilences in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all - it is very tiresome."
- Ch. 14

Jane Austen Lines from Pride and Prejudice:

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."
- Ch. 1

"How pleasant is it to spend an evening in this way! I declare after all this is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tired of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library."
- Ch. 11

"I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice, though not in principle."
- Ch. 58

Jane Austen Lines from Persuasion:

"'My idea of good company, Mr Elliot, is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company."
- Ch. 16

"One does not love a place the less for having suffered in it unless it has all been suffering, nothing but suffering."
- Ch. 20

"All the privilege I claim for my own sex (it is not a very enviable one; you need not covet it), is that of loving longest, when existence or when hope is gone."
- Ch. 23

Jane Austen Lines from Mansfield Park:

"But there certainly are not so many men of large fortune in the world as there are pretty women to deserve them."
- Ch. 1

"I mean to be too rich to lament or to feel anything of the sort. A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of. It certainly may secure all the myrtle and turkey part of it."
- Ch. 22

"Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can, impatient to restore everybody..."
- Ch. 48

Jane Austen Brief Biography:

Austen was shy and withdrawn about her writing. She hid evidence of her writing from view, when anyone happened to come upon her. She was writing in the Romantic Age of poets like Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats. Sir Walter Scott was creating great romances like Lady of the Lake, Ivanhoe, and The Talisman.

Austen's first work to be published was Sense and Sensibility on October 30, 1811. Other works include: Love and Friendship (1789), A Collection of Letters (1791) Lady Susan (1793-94), Elinor and Marianne (1795), First Impressions (1796-1797), which later became Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), Emma (December 1815), Persuasion (1818, published posthumously) Northanger Abbey (originally sold as Susan in 1803, published posthumously in 1818),

Despite Austen's popularity and eventual success with publishing her novels, Austen still received recommendations that she write romances instead.In one letter, she replied to this suggestion, saying, "I could no more write a romance than an epic poem. I could not sit seriously down to write a serious romance under any other motive than to save my life; and if it were indispensable for me to keep it up and never relax into laughing at myself or at other people, I am sure I should be hung before I had finished the first chapter. No, I must keep to my own style and go on in my own way; and though I may never succeed again in that, I am convinced that I should totally fail in any other."

As Scott once said, "What a pity such a gifted creature died so early!"

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