Jane Austen is probably one of the most loved author of all times, in my opinion. Her novels have delight readers of all ages for quite some time. But what do we know of her.
Jane Austen was born December 16, 1775 in Stevenson, Hampshire. Her father was a clergyman named George Austen and her mother’s name was Cassandra nee Leigh. She had five brothers and one sister. She was quite well educated for a woman of her time and was encouraged to write by her family. She started her first novel when she was fourteen years old.
The only love interests she is known to have were Tom Lefroy and Harris Bigg-Wither, from whom she received a marriage proposal. She accepted him initially only to refuse him the next day.
She spent approximately 4 years living in Bath when her father retired. She disliked the fashionable water hole which can be seen in the attitude of Anne Elliot inPersuasion. Her father died in 1805 and she, her mother, and sister ended up living in Southampton for a small period of time before moving to Chawton Cottage. It was at Chawton that she wrote her later novels.
She died July 18, 1817 from what is now believed to be Addison’s Disease.
During the time in which she lived it was common for female authors to write anonymously. Her books are considered a novel of manners. Most deal with limited circles in the country, though she did satirize the gothic horror genre in Northanger Abbey. Although her works were written during what was known as the Romantic period her works lack the rampant passion that characterize books of that time. In fact, excessive Romantic notions are portrayed as being dangerous like Marianne inSense & Sensibility being overcome by a putrid fever due to the excesses of her ardour for Wiloughby. Her work though not widely circulated was praised by such greats as Sir Walter Scott and Samuel Coleridge. Interestingly enough Charlotte Bronte didn’t like her work describing it as:
“Anything like warmth or enthusiasm, anything energetic, poignant, heartfelt, is utterly out of place in commending these works: all such demonstrations the authoress would have met with a well-bred sneer, would have calmly scorned as ‘outré’ or extravagant. She does her business of delineating the surface of the lives of genteel English people curiously well. There is a Chinese fidelity, a miniature delicacy, in the painting. She ruffles her reader by nothing vehement, disturbs him with nothing profound. The passions are perfectly unknown to her: she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy sisterhood… What sees keenly, speaks aptly, moves flexibly, it suits her to study: but what throbs fast and full, though hidden, what the blood rushes through, what is the unseen seat of life and the sentient target of death—this Miss Austen ignores… Jane Austen was a complete and most sensible lady, but a very incomplete and rather insensible (not senseless) woman, if this is heresy—I cannot help it.”
Sounds like jealously to me!!! Ah women! Cuz let’s face it aside from Jane Eyre, does anyone know what else Charlotte Bronte wrote? I mean you don’t see anyone killing themselves to turn Jane Eyre into a feature length film. However, I digress. Charlotte will have her day- just not this day.
Anyway, some of Jane Austen’s less known work includes The Watsons, Lady Susan(which I positively love), Sanditon, The Three Sisters, Love and Friendship, and theHistory of England which I previously reviewed.
So now ya know all about my girl Jane.