Some Jane Austen background info.

Jane Austen was an English novelist who was born in 1775-1817. She is known for her romantic fiction, realism, biting irony and social commentary, gaining her historical importance among scholars and critics. 

Growing up, Austen was mostly educated and tutored at home, although she and her beloved sister Cassandra were sent briefly to boarding schools – which they did not enjoy. The Austens were a keen literary family; Jane was a voracious reader who wrote from an early age, with much encouragement from her father. 

Neither she nor her sister Cassandra ever married, although Jane had several flirtations, most notably around 1796, with a young Irishman, Tom Lefroy. It is thought their elders did not approve of the match and he was sent away. Many years later, he admitted he had been in love with her. 

In the late 1790s, she has begun and redrafted three novels; ‘Sense and Sensibility’, ‘Northanger Abbey’ and ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and completed ‘Mansfield Park’, ‘Emma’ and ‘Persuasion’, which was written as her health failed her. She moved to Winchester for treatment but died of tubercular disease of the kidneys in 1817 aged 41. Her workd were read and celebrated in her own time though she was published anonymously.

Jane Austen can be claimed to be the first real feminist writer as she preoccupies her work with women’s issues. She is a comedy writer, generally involving humour, irony or exaggeration. Her novels involve a ‘happy ending’, involving a wedding or some sort of engagement. Austen also involves heroins in her work, who are put through a series of obstacles and ‘Christian trials’ such as enduring some kind of isolation or being unfairly accused. These heroins are said to be the ‘best Christian’ and most well-rounded characters.

 

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