Jane Austen : Biography and Literary Works

Published on 24-Sep-2022

JANE AUSTEN

Jane Austen was a famous novelist of the 19th century. She was a much-beloved writer of her time. People often praised her for her authentic writing skills, which critics and literature experts recognized. 

Jane Austen was born in the village of Steventon in Hampshire, England, on December 16, 1775. She had seven other siblings. Austen's parents had a well-rounded family background; however, they didn't live the most luxurious life. Her father, Reverend George Austen, was the family's only breadwinner, as a rector of the church, besides being a part-time private tutor.

Only some of Austen's siblings were sent to school due to their humble financial condition. The author herself was almost one of them. Around 1785 Jane Austen and her sister Cassandra Austen were sent to a boarding school instituted to teach women the acquisition of the French language, knitting, and painting. Nonetheless, the two sisters couldn't continue their education further around 1786 as they had to quit boarding school due to a lack of funds. 

But Jane Austen's journey to education didn't hit the fork there. Upon returning home, Austen turned to the vast library housed by her parents and decided to educate herself on her own by reading books. Her access to the wide choice of books to read from might have been the middle catalyst that gave birth to one of the most versatile English writers of the 18th century. Around this time, in 1787, the author started writing her first literary works. 

Jane Austen was not a somewhat publicized author back then, unlike her colleagues such as Marry Shelley or William Wordsworth. Most of the personal information about the author that the literary historians have discovered from the countless physical letters she shared with her sister Cassandra Austen has highlighted Austen's life outside of her stories.

Jane Austen's parents and siblings were all very encouraging of her writing career. Mr. and Mrs. Austen was very progressive with their thoughts and truly believed in their children's development through education, sons and daughters alike. Jane was taken on occasional trips to Bath and London with her father, which influenced many of the settings in her books and characters. Like many other female authors, such as Marry Shelley, Austen did not leave behind any children of her own.

Although her life story was completely different than that of Shelley's, where she lost all her children to illness and accidents, Jane Austen, on the other hand, never got married. Both the Austen sisters chose to reject the idea of marriage, which was rather unusual in the orthodox society back then. Jane almost was wedded to Harris Big-Wither, a twenty-one-year-old heir to the Hampshire family fortunes back in 1802; however, the author decided to call off the arrangement. Even though it's widely speculated that the author spent her entire life with no intervention of passion, most of her writings, on the other hand, suggest otherwise with her well-defined portrayal of 'love' and 'unrequited love. The author spent the last remaining days of her life in Winchester village of Hampshire, England, where she took her last breath on July 18, 1817.

Books and Literary Works:

The letters between Jane Austen and Cassandra Austen are mostly burnt and attempted to be destroyed by Cassandra herself as she was known to be highly protective of her sister. Cassandra wanted to preserve her sister's legacy and private matters, so she tried to burn all the letters. The letters resurrected with missing pieces of evidence are the only dependable tale of the novelist's life except in her books.

  • The earliest of the author's works dates back from around the year 1787 to somewhere in 1793. She seemingly started writing prose, plays, poetry, and short novels around the genre of 'sentimental comedy. The "Volume first, Volume Second, and Volume third," within three different manuscripts, were reportedly her first steps into writing. 

 

  • "Lady Susan," by Jane Austen, published in 1871, is a short epistolary novel that illustrates the struggle of life as a woman. The novel depicts the themes of 'frustration,' 'sexism,' and 'Misery' a woman faces in society to prove her talents as the inferior gender. Critics suspect the novel was written around 1794, when she was still a teenager, despite being published much later. This information astonishes the audience with Austen's mature grasp of such a sensitive topic at a young age. Some scholars claim that the author might have expressed her endeavor as an aspiring writer in Victorian society by portraying the frustrated woman in the story.

 

  • Jane Austen's first officially published novel "Sense and Sensibility," published in 1811, is a hot topic among literary scholars. The story narrates the life of two sisters, Elinor Dashwood and Marianne Dashwood, after they come of age. By the title "Sense and Sensibility," the novelist portrays the 'sensitivity' of human nature. The story contrasts the emotionally driven Marianne's sensitiveness to Elinor's sensible approach to love and crisis, which plays at the novel's heart.

 

  • "Pride and Prejudice" is another of Austen's Classic literature that is well recognized and published in 1813. The book was probably considered Austen's best writing of all time. Jane Austen is famously known for her six prestigious novels, including "Mansfield Park" -1814, "Emma" -1815, "Persuasion" -1817, and "Northanger Abbey" -1817.

 

  • "Northanger Abbey" and "Persuasion" were published in 1817 after the author's death. Initially written around 1815 to somewhere in 1816, it creates fictional worlds with vivid, realistic issues and conventional characters, similar to her other novels.

 

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