Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors who inspired me to take up writing seriously. She was an English novelist born on 16 December 1775 at Steventon Rectory, Hampshire, England.
Austen’s plots reflect the dependence of women on marriage for the sake of gaining favourable social standing and economic security.(Wikipedia). It’s ironical that she achieved only modest success with her novels when she was alive.Her works gained widespread recognition posthumously. Her novels were republished in Richard Bentley’s Standard Novels series, illustrated by Ferdinand Pickering, and sold as a set in 1833 after her death. Her nephew also published” A Memoir of Jane Austen” in 1869 where he described her writing career and supposedly uneventful life. Her books have also inspired many movies like1940’s Pride and Prejudice to more recent productions like Sense and Sensibility (1995) and Love & Friendship (2016). ( Source: Wikipedia)
Her works :
Sense and Sensibility (1811) – Sense and Sensibility deals with the story of the impoverished Dashwood family. Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret Dashwood along with their widowed mother are forced to move from their estate in Norland Park after the death of Mr. Dashwood which is passed on to his son from the first wife, John. His greedy wife, Fanny, dissuades him from helping his step-mom and half-sisters. Elinor and Marianne go through a myriad of emotions like love, romance and heartbreak. The book is set around South West England, London, and Sussex, probably between 1792 and 1797.
Pride and Prejudice (1813) -Pride and Prejudice is an 1813 novel of manners featuring Elizabeth Bennet, the dynamic protagonist, who understands the difference between superficial and actual goodness of a human. It centers around the relationship between Elizabeth Bennet, the daughter of a country gentleman, and Fitzwilliam Darcy, a rich aristocratic landowner.
Emma (1815)- The main plot of Emma is about about love and marriage. It is set in the fictional country village of Highbury and the surrounding estates of Hartfield, Randalls and Donwell Abbey, and involves the relationships among people from a small number of families. Emma Woodhouse , the 21-year-old protagonist overestimates her power of matchmaking. Her efforts in matchmaking yield disastrous results. I loved reading this book.
Northanger Abbey (1817) – Northanger Abbe is a coming-of-age novel and a satire of Gothic novels written by Jane Austen. She completed it in 1803 but it was published posthumously in 1817. The story is about Catherine Morland, the naïve young protagonist. Her fondness for Gothic novels fuels her imagination. She visits Bath with her wealthy neighbors, The Allens, who introduce her to The Thorpes. She happens to meet Henry Tilney and falls in love with him. The Thorpes’ son John wants to marry Catherine but she rejects him. He creates many obstacles to stop Catherine from marrying Henry. It’s a saga of jealousy, lies, treachery and romance.
Mansfield Park (1814) – This is a heart touching emotional story about Fanny Price, a ten-year-old girl who is sent to live with her wealthy aunt and uncle at Mansfield Park, The Bertrams. They have four kids of their own, Tom, Edmund, Maria and Julia. Everyone ill-treats her including her other aunt, Mrs Norris, the wife of the clergyman at the Mansfield parsonage. To sum up, this novel describes Fanny’s tryst with destiny.
Persuasion (1818)- The story is about Anne Elliot, a young Englishwoman of twenty-seven years, whose family relocates and rent their house to an Admiral and his wife. The wife’s brother, Navy Captain Frederick Wentworth, is engaged to Anne but their engagement is called off due to the persuasion of Anne’s family and friends because of his low social status. They meet again after seven years and it sets off many humorous encounters. Can they rekindle their romance and get married?
Any lover of English Literature should definitely read Jane Austen’s books.
Her books are very inspiring and gives us a deep insight into the treatment of women in the Old English Society around 1800s. The location and the period adds more intrigue and charm to her novels. I wish I was born in that era and meet her. I love all her books but my favorites are Pride and Prejudice and Emma.
She succumbed to her disease at the age of 41 on 18 July 1817 at Winchester, Hampshire, England. Jane Austen’s legacy continues even now for nearly two hundred years and still going strong. She is immortal in the history English Literature.
( Information source: Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica).
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