Jane Austen

Jane Austen

Jane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature. Her realism and biting social commentary have gained her historical importance among scholars and critics.

Austen lived her entire life as part of a close-knit family located on the lower fringes of the English landed gentry. She was educated primarily by her father and older brothers as well as through her own reading. The steadfast support of her family was critical to her development as a professional writer. Her artistic apprenticeship lasted from her teenage years into her thirties. During this period, she experimented with various literary forms, including the epistolary novel which she then abandoned, and wrote and extensively revised three major novels and began a fourth. From 1811 until 1816, with the release of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1816), she achieved success as a published writer. She wrote two additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published posthumously in 1818, and began a third, which was eventually titled Sanditon, but died before completing it.

Austen's works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century realism. Her plots, though fundamentally comic, highlight the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security. Her work brought her little personal fame and only a few positive reviews during her lifetime, but the publication in 1869 of her nephew's A Memoir of Jane Austen introduced her to a wider public, and by the 1940s she had become widely accepted in academia as a great English writer. The second half of the 20th century saw a proliferation of Austen scholarship and the emergence of a Janeite fan culture.

Biographical information concerning Jane Austen is "famously scarce", according to one biographer. Only some personal and family letters remain (by one estimate only 160 out of Austen's 3,000 letters are extant), and her sister Cassandra (to whom most of the letters were originally addressed) burned "the greater part" of the ones she kept and censored those she did not destroy. Other letters were destroyed by the heirs of Admiral Francis Austen, Jane's brother. Most of the biographical material produced for fifty years after Austen's death was written by her relatives and reflects the family's biases in favour of "good quiet Aunt Jane". Scholars have unearthed little information since.

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Jane Austen
10 Items found
Active Filters: Trade Paperback
Annotated Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
Revised & Expanded from Anchor Books
for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$15.26
Brit. Lit. Volume 5
by Jane Austen
from Logos School
for 10th-12th grade
in Logos Brit. Lit. (Location: LIT-LOGOS)
Emma
by Jane Austen
from Oxford University
Romantic Realistic Fiction for 9th-12th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$6.76
Lady Susan, The Watsons and Sanditon
Penguin Classics
by Jane Austen
from Penguin Classics
Realistic fiction for 8th-12th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$9.35 $4.80 (1 in stock)
Mansfield Park
Everyman's Library
by Jane Austen
from Everyman's Library
Romantic Realistic Fiction for 8th-12th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Persuasion
by Jane Austen
from Barnes & Noble
for 8th-Adult
in Clearance: Literature (Location: CLE-LIT)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
Presenting Miss Jane Austen
by May Lamberton Becker
from Bethlehem Books
Biography for 6th-10th grade
in Biographies (Location: BIO)
$11.86
Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
from Oxford University
Romantic Realistic Fiction for 8th-12th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$6.76
Sanditon
by Jane Austen & "Another Lady"
Reprint from Simon and Schuster
Romantic Realistic Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$13.60
Sense and Sensibility
by Jane Austen
from Dover Publications
for 8th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$5.10