Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A tribute to a great author:
Miss Jane Austen

    With so many great women authors putting out books this month (Rachel Caine, Veronica Roth, Charlaine Harris, Cassandra Clare are just to name a few) I thought I would give a shout out to one of my favorites.

    This women wrote some of  the greatest books of all time. She inspired us and made us think.

   My all time favorite Miss Jane Austen:

Born: December 16, 1775 in Hampshire, The United Kingdom
Died: July 18, 1817

     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 cementing 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 until she was about 35 years old. During this period, she experimented with various literary forms, including the epistolary novel which she tried 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.

Here are the books that made me want to read!:

Northanger Abbey:

    Jane Austen's first major novel was written in 1798-99, when she was in her early twenties. It is a comic love story set in Bath about a young reader who must learn how to separate fantasy from reality. Miss Austen sold the novel (then entitled Susan) to a publisher in 1803, and the work was advertised but never published. She bought it back many years later, and her brother Henry Austen published the novel as Northanger Abbey after her death in 1817.

Sense and Sensibility:

    Sense and Sensibility was the first of Jane Austen's novels to be published. She began to write it sometime around 1797, and she worked on it for many years before its publication in 1811. The title page said that it was written "By a Lady", and only her immediate family knew that Jane Austen was the author. Impetuous Marianne Dashwood tumbles into a fairytale romance that goes sour, and her practical older sister Elinor copes with the family's financial problems while hiding her own frustrated romantic hopes. The book was a success, and it even earned a profit!

Pride and Prejudice:

     Pride and Prejudice was first written in the late 1700's, then rewritten in 1811-1812 and finally published in early 1813. It is probably the most-read of all of Jane Austen's novels and is a popular favorite among many. Originally entitled First Impressions, the novel deals with the misjudgments that often occur at the beginning of an acquaintance and how those misjudgments can change as individuals learn more about each other.

Mansfield Park:
    Mansfield Park was written between February, 1811 and the summer of 1813. It was the third novel Jane Austen had published and it first appeared on May 4, 1814. During her lifetime, it was attributed only to "The author of Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice", and the author's identity was unknown beyond her family and friends. It is Jane Austen's most complex novel and deals with many different themes, from the education of children, to the differences between appearances and reality. The version of the novel  housed here at is slightly annotated.

    Lovers' vowels: This is the play that the Bertrams wish to enact in the first volume of Mansfield Park. In addition to the text of the play, a synopsis is provided here, as well as a short analysis explaining some of the objections to the play within the novel and a cast list.


     Emma was written in 1814-1815, and while Jane Austen was writing it, it was suggested to her by a member of the Prince Regents' household that she dedicate it to His Royal Highness. Austen took the suggestion as it was intended--as a command--and Emma was thus dedicated, but the dedication itself is rather slyly worded. Emma deals with a young woman's maturation into adulthood and the trouble she gets herself into along the way. The version of the novel housed here at is slightly annotated.


     Persuasion was written in 1815-1816, while Jane Austen was suffering from her fatal illness. She was still working on some revisions at the time of her death in 1817. The novel was published posthumously by her brother, Henry Austen. Persuasion is a novel of second chances, expectations of society, and the constancy of love. You can also read the preface which Henry wrote telling the world of his sister's authorship, life, and untimely death.

The Jane Austen Society of North America:
    If you want to know anything about Jane Austen this is the place to find it...

My review:
    I have NO review because nothing I say can ever do Miss Austen justice and there are not enough stars to rate her. I can say that I have read all of her books and I loved each and every one of them.  My favorite Jane Austine novel is Mansfield Park. 
    I think it's a great shame that she had to write under the name anonymous because she was a girl. I think that her novels are some of the greatest books out there. If it wasn't for her I wouldn't have the love of books that I do now.
    If you have never picked up one of her novels your missing out! Her books are (especially for her time) amazing. Her books are romantic, witty, sad, tragic, but most of all they are honest to her world as she sees it. They are truly beautiful works of art!!! 

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