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Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen: A Biography

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A Hero in Literature: Jane Austen

Jane Austen was a very quiet person. She never married, nor did she have any children.

 Among her many novels, Emma was one of the most popular, along with Pride and Prejudice.

Born in Steventon, Hampshire on December 16th of 1775, Jane Austen was the youngest of seven children. She was the second daughter to Cassandra Leigh and George Austen. After spending 25 years of her life living in Hampshire, Jane and her older sister Cassandra moved to Bath with their parents.
Austen grew up around literature. For most of her life, she was tutored at home by her parents, who were both avid readers. As a child, Austen would write poems and stories for family amusement. Her favorite poem as a child was Cowper.
Jane Austen was a fairly shy person. If ever she was writing and someone would walk in the room, she would hide her small pieces of paper under the desk plotter. Often times she would write letters to herself and to others about her families actions. She would write with a gossipy manner.
Many people supported her writings, but none as much as her father. He passed away in 1805 and left her to live with her hypochondriac mother and sister. In 1809, she finally left home and bought a cottage in Chawton.
Austen wrote many of her best-known novels in Chawton. Sense and Sensibility was the revision of an early novel that Austen wrote titled, "Elinor and Marianne". In 1797, Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice. The original title for this novel was "First Impressions," and was soon changed when published. Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice was printed three different times.
"Emma", one of Jane Austen's comical books, was finally published in March of 1815, after working on it for a year. The book was published in three different volumes.
Austen's writings portrayed family life similar to her own as a child. She often wrote about country clergymen and their families and on middle-class provincial life. What is ironic about writing is how most of her novels stressed the view that a woman's marriage determined her social status, when she herself never married.
Austen died at the age of forty-one on July 18th of 1817. She left an unfinished piece of work to be titled "Sanditon". She was able to write about 12 chapters before forced to stop because of poor health.
After being buried in Winchester Cathedral, her sister Cassandra burned most of her early letters. A few remained, but all were written while Austen was in her twenties. After her death, her older brother Henry made her authorship public. In 1925, Austen's unfinished novel, Sanditon, was published.
Austen is known to be the first to give "the novel its modern character through the treatment of everyday life." Her novels will forever remain classics and be loved for many years to come. 
(Authors' Calendar, #4)
(this page by SL)   

Jane Austen

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