Jane Austen

Jane Austen Fimg

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!” – Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen (1775-1817) was an English novelist, one of the finest of her generation. She is best known primarily for her six major novels: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. Her novels continue to captivate readers, even almost 200 years after her death. Jane’s novels, themed on love among the landed gentry, are considered literary classics, bridging the gap between romance and realism. As a result, her six major novels have rarely been out of print; although they were published anonymously, and brought her moderate success and little fame during her lifetime.

Jane Austen was the seventh child and second daughter of her parents. She was born in Steventon, Hampshire, England. She grew up in an environment that stressed on learning and creative thinking. Over the course of her life, she was closely attached to her father and older sister, Cassandra.

Jane began writing in bound notebooks during her adolescence. One of her first works was Love and Friendship. It was a parody of romantic fiction organized as a series of love letters. This treatise demonstrated her wit and dislike of sensibility, or romantic hysteria. This was certainly a distinctive trait that would characterize much of her later works. The bound notebooks, which included novels as well as short stories, poems and plays, are referred to as Jane’s Juvenilia.

Jane continued to write, developing her style in more ambitious works such as Lady Susan, a short epistolary novel describing the schemes of the title character; a selfish, unscrupulous and scheming woman. Her first major work was called Elinor and Marianne. It was told as a series of letters, and eventually published as Sense and Sensibility. Jane’s second novel was First Impressions, eventually published anonymously as Pride and Prejudice. Her third novel, titled Susan during the drafting stage, was later published as Northanger Abbey by her brother following Jane’s death.

Following her father’s death and a period of financial uncertainty, Jane started to anonymously publish her works. During 1811-1816, she pseudonymously published Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Emma.

At the age of 41, Jane started to become ill, with what is suspected to be Addison’s disease. However, her final illness has also been described as resulting from Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Works written during this time and published posthumously include The Brothers (later published as Sandition) and Persuasion. At some point, her health deteriorated to such an extent that she had to cease writing. She died on July 18, 1817, in Winchester, Hampshire, England.

Jane Austen did receive a few accolades for her work while she was still alive. Her first three novels garnered critical acclaim and brought her increasing monetary rewards. However, it was not until after her demise that her brother Henry revealed to people in general that she was the author of her works.

List of Works:

Novels

  • Sense and Sensibility (1811)
  • Pride and Prejudice (1813)
  • Mansfield Park (1814)
  • Emma (1815)
  • Northanger Abbey (1818)
  • Persuasion (1818)
  • Lady Susan (1871)

Unfinished fiction

  • The Watsons (1804)
  • Sanditon (1817)

Other works

  • Sir Charles Grandison (adapted play) (1793, 1800)
  • Plan of a Novel (1815)
  • Poems (1796–1817)
  • Prayers (1796–1817)
  • Letters (1796–1817)

Juvenilia – Volume the First (1787–1793)

  • Frederic & Elfrida
  • Jack & Alice
  • Edgar & Emma
  • Henry and Eliza
  • The Adventures of Mr. Harley
  • Sir William Mountague
  • Memoirs of Mr. Clifford
  • The Beautifull Cassandra
  • Amelia Webster
  • The Visit
  • The Mystery
  • The Three Sisters
  • A beautiful description
  • The generous Curate
  • Ode to Pity

Juvenilia – Volume the Second (1787–1793)

  • Love and Freindship
  • Lesley Castle
  • The History of England
  • A Collection of Letters
  • The female philosopher
  • The first Act of a Comedy
  • A Letter from a Young Lady
  • A Tour through Wales
  • A Tale

 Juvenilia – Volume the Third (1787–1793)

  • Evelyn
  • Catherine, or The Bower

Available Works on The Beam Magazine:

Pride and Prejudice

Sense and Sensibility

Mansfield Park

Emma

Northanger Abbey

Persuasion

Lady Susan

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Great