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Jane Austen (1775 - 1817)

Austen, Jane

The English writer Jane Austen is among the world's most famous authors. She created such classics as Pride & Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park, and Sense and Sensibility. Jane Austen was born on 16 December 1775. Her father was the Vicar of Steventon and Jane was the seventh of eight children. After Jane wrote Pride & Prejudice, her father offered the book to a publisher in 1797 who turned it down without reading it.

Jane moved with her parents and Cassandra to Bath in 1801. Four years later, her father died. By 1807, she moved to Bargate, Southampton. In 1809, Mrs Austen, Cassandra, Jane and Martha Lloyd moved to Chawton, near Alton. Here they lived in the former bailiff' house on the Chawton estate that was left to Jane's brother Edward.

It was Jane's final home, where she lived with her mother and sister Cassandra until 1817. At Chawton Jane led a quiet life and focused on novel writing. Jane revised both Sense and Sensibility that was published in 1811, as well as Pride and Prejudice, which was published in 1813. Pride and Prejudice was an instant success. All Jane's novels that appeared during her lifetime were published anonymously, merely bearing the legend "By a Lady". Mansfield Park was published in 1814 and Emma in 1815. Persuasion was published until 1818, after her death. In early 1817 Jane began to write Sanditon, but she became ill and the book was never completed. She died on 18 July at the age of 41.

Famous quotations by Jane Austen:

  • It may be possible to do without dancing entirely. Instances have been known of young people passing many, many months successively without being at any ball of any description, and no material injury accrue either to body or mind; but when a beginning is made--when the felicities of rapid motion have once been, though slightly, felt--it must be a very heavy set that does not ask for more.

  • It was, perhaps, one of those cases in which advice is good or bad only as the event decides.

  • Surprises are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable.

  • For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors and laugh at them in our turn?

  • It is always incomprehensible to a man that a woman should ever refuse an offer of marriage.

  • Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.

  • Nobody minds having what is too good for them.

  • There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.

  • To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.

  • Suggested sites for Jane Austen:

    Encyclopedia article about Jane Austen
    Texts by Austen
    The story of a matchmaker who finds love for herself in the most unexpected place.
    Lady Susan
    The story of Lady Susan, a recent widow, who is looking to marry well again, but is forcing her daughter to marry someone against her will.
    Love and Friendship
    The tale of a young woman betrayed through her seemingly idealistic marriage.
    Mansfield Park
    Fanny Price lives in the home of her wealthy Uncle's and falls in love with her cousin, Edward.
    Northanger Abbey
    Catherine Morland moves to Northanger Abbey to get away from those who are seeking a fortune she does not actually have.
    Anne Elliot was engaged to a poor naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, but is persuaded by Lady Russell not to marry him. Years later, when they meet again, Wentworth is rich, but is he still in love with Anne?
    Pride and Prejudice
    Epic tale of the Bennett sisters: their loves, their family life, their social standing, and their near-tragedy when one sister, Lydia, runs off with Mr. Wickham. Includes the classic character, Mr. Darcy, who helps save the Bennett family from ruin because of his love for Elizabeth Bennett.
    Sense and Sensibility
    The lives of Marianne, a romantic, and Elinor, a pragmatist, Dashwood, and their search for happiness and love.

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