I'm a fan of Jane Austen, so I took the challenge Princess Megan Rose presented.
Her plots mainly reflected upon the dependence of women to marry into money so she can enjoy a more favorable social status. Doesn’t it make you wonder what happens to the poorer guys growing up in that period? Who will they marry? I guess, they better make a name for themselves, or they are excluded.
Austen's main novels are rarely out of print today even though they were first published anonymously. It wasn’t until 1869 that she was finally acknowledged the author of these books; fifty-two years later after her death, her nephew published A Memoir of Jane Austen which effectively introduced her to a wider public and reading audience. Pride and Prejudice, Austen's most successful novel in her own lifetime went through two editions during her own life. Her third published novel was named Mansfield Park, which was largely overlooked by professional reviewers; although, this novel had success with the public still within Jane's lifetime.
All of Jane Austen’s major novels were published for the first time between 1811 and 1818— Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813, Mansfield Park (1814), and Emma (1815) achieving success as a published writer. She wrote two additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published in 1818, beginning another one titled Sanditon, but Jane died before completing it.
Jane Austen inspired many critical essays and literary anthologies during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries establishing her a place as a prominent British author of international fame. Her books often inspired other cultural arts as well with numerous film productions of her novel starting as early as 1940. I loved watching Darcy & Elizabeth's back and forth love affair, in Pride and Prejudice. I read the book in high school.
Jane was the seventh child and second daughter of Cassandra and George Austen. Jane's parents were well-respected community members, her father served as the Oxford-educated rector for a nearby Anglican parish. Jane grew up in a close-knit family whose parents encouraged each child to read from their father’s extensive library; they were also taught to think creatively. Their favorite pastime game was charades.
As Jane grew up, she became closer to her father, and her older sister, Cassandra, who she later collaborated with on a published book. Both Jane and Cassandra were sent to boarding school to acquire a more formal education. It was during this time that Jane and her sister caught typhus, and Jane nearly died from this illness. Sadly, this ended their formal education, due to financial constraints.
Jane spent much of her early childhood helping run the family home; she learned to play the piano, attended church with her family, loved to socialized with the neighbors, and even became an accomplished dancer from attending many cotillions. Always fascinated by the stories people told, Jane began to write her own versions in bound notebooks. Then, in 1790, she began to craft her own novels such as Love and Friendship, The History of England, and even wrote her own short stories, poems, and plays— This collection was called Juvenilia. On evenings with the family, she would read her novels out loud to her family, because she wanted to see what they thought. She continued her love of writing, developed her own style, and one of her works consisted of a series of letters that was later named Sense and Sensibility, which were eventually published.
In 1801, Jane moved to Bath with her father, along with her mother and Cassandra. Four years later her father died after a short illness which created a financial problem for the three women; they moved from place to place between homes of various family members, even rented flats until 1809; they moved into a more permanent home, Jane's brother Edward let them move into his cottage in Chawton.
Jane never married nor did Cassandra, they lived together, shared the same bedroom, and just liked each other’s company. Inseparable as children, their friendship grew. Jane spent her time writing novels while Cassandra painted, using watercolors and did mostly portraits or sketched whatever caught her eye.
Whenever Cassandra was away, Jane would write her letters, and from time to time she would also write to other members of the family like her three brothers, their wives, various nieces and nephews, but Cassandra was the person whom her world revolved around. When Jane died at the young age of 42, in 1817, Cassandra highhandedly destroyed most of those wonderfully written letters to her. Only 161 of Jane Austen’s letters are known to exist today, which is a shame, because they gave us such an unparalleled and irresistible insight into the life of Jane Austen. They were gossipy, observant, informative, and many say they read like novels themselves. Jane had a way to bring alive her family, her friends, and her surroundings, painting a picture with words that brought a delightful freshness to the receiver of these letters; plus, she wrote with witticism, described amusing exploits of the social life of town and country. She gave them a lot of thought, and used a constructive tone while writing about the business of literary. Teachers, students, and fans will find remarkable insight into one of the most popular novelist ever.
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