Jane Austen

Jane Austen is probably one of the best remembered and loved historical authors of the Englash language, an amazing feat for a woman of her day. And as was so often the case, especially with women, death came way too early in life. One can only imagine what novels her mature period would have brought forth.

Jane Austen lived from 1775 to 1817. She was born and died (at age 41) in Hampshire, England unmarried. She wrote six novels, the last two published posthumously, one novelette, (Lady Susan), two unfinished works, both of which are published now, completed by various authors, plus poems and prayers, letters, and a large group of very early works known as "Juvenilia." Wikipedia has an extensive article about Jane with links to all her major works.

Austen grew up in Steventon rectory where her father was rector. She had six brothers and one sister, Cassandra, who was her best friend, and, like Jane also died unmarried. They both had little formal education due to financial issues, but Jane certainly became an avid reader, having access to two libraries. Her home life, it seems was joyful and nurturing, and aside from the short time she was away at school, the remainder of her life was spent with family.

In late 1800, Jane's father retired and moved the family to Bath. He died in 1805, leaving them struggling financially. Jane's brother, Edward, had been adopted by a fourth cousin, Thomas Knight, and inherited enough wealth to eventually provide for his mother and sister. They moved to Chawton House, a large cottage and part of Edward's estate, where Austen spent the last eight years of her life. By 1816, Jane's health began to decline; (we still do not know for certain from what disease she suffered), but in April, 1817, she was so weak that she went to Winchester for medical treatment. She died there in July, and is buried at Winchester Cathedral. Her sister Cassandra died in 1845, and her mother, who enjoyed a very long life, died in 1827.

Jane Austen

Completed Novels by Jane Austen

Jane Austen's House Museum, Chawton

Mansfield Park
Northanger Abbey
Pride and Prejudice
Sense and Sensibility

Jane Austen in Films

It is amazing that someone who only wrote six novels should have them all made into in movies, films, series, and so on, based on various levels of accuracy to the novel. Even some of her lesser works have been loosely adapted for different media. Wikipedia has a great page which provides a fairly comprehensive list of adaptations of Austen's works, including starring actors, etc., plus links for more information. Here are some images from the films

Emma, 1996

Pride and Prejudice, 2005

Mansfield Park, 2007

Sense and Sensibility, 1995

Northanger Abbey, 2007

Other Works by Jane Austen

Lady Susan
Unfinished Novels
Sanditon & The Watsons: Austen's Unfinished Novels

Persuasion, 2007

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