December 9, 2015

Jane Austen

English novelist from the Georgian Era.


  • Full Name: Jane Austen
    Jane Austen
  • Pseudonym: "By A Lady", "The Author of 'Sense and Sensibility'"
  • Date of Birth: December 16, 1775
  • Place of Birth: Steventon, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom
  • Baptism: April 5, 1776
  • Nationality: British
  • Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius
  • Death: July 18, 1817
  • Place of Death: Winchester, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom
  • Cause of Death: Debatable
  • Place of Burial: Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire, England
  • Father: George Austen (1731–1805)
  • Mother: Cassandra Leigh Austen (1739–1827)
  • Siblings: 6 brothers and 1 sister
    1. Brother: James (1765–1819)
    2. Brother: George (1766–1838)
    3. Brother: Edward (1768–1852)
    4. Brother: Henry Thomas (1771–1850)
    5. Brother: Francis William (Frank) (1774–1865)
    6. Brother: Charles John (1779–1852)
    7. Sister: Cassandra Elizabeth (1773–1845)
  • Known for: her witty studies of day-to-day life of members of the upper middle class of early-19th-century English society and her skillful treatments of character and situation.
  • Criticized for: having very limited range of themes.
  • Influences: Samuel Richardson (1689–1761), Henry Fielding (1707–1754), Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784), Frances Burney (1752 – 1840), Charlotte Lennox (c. 1730 – 1804), William Cowper (1731 – 1800), George Crabbe ((1754 –1832), Robert Burns (1759 –1796), Maria Edgeworth (1768 –1849), Walter Scott (1771 – 1832).
  • Influenced: George Eliot (1819 – 1880), Irvine Welsh (1958 –), Sophie Kinsella (1969 –), Carrie Bebris, Regina Jeffers, and KaraLynne Mackrory.


"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Major Themes

  • Social Commentary
  • Class Distinction
  • Courtship
  • Marriage
  • Condition of Women

Notable Works:

  • Sense and Sensibility (1811)
  • Pride and Prejudice (1813)
  • Mansfield Park (1814)
  • Emma (1815)
  • Northanger Abbey (1818, posthumous)
  • Persuasion (1818, posthumous)

Did You Know?

  • Her father, George Austen was a country clergyman at Steventon.
  • Her mother held a higher social status than her father.
  • Austen was the last of the eight children of the couple.
  • During her youth, Austen almost died of typhus.
  • Although Austen never married, she had a few relationships during her youth. Her first love was Tom Lefroy who she could not marry as his parents did not find her suitable for their son. Afterwards, during a family vacation at Lyme Regis, Austen met a young man who fell in love with her. Although he left promising that they would meet again, sometime later Austen heard that he had died. Lastly, once Austen accepted a marriage proposal from Harris Wither, who was six years younger than her. She agreed to marry him only to ensure financial security to her family. But she cancelled the engagement in the next day realizing the hollowness of this relationship.
  • Austen died at the age of 41 from a painful illness which gradually declined her physical condition. The disease was never diagnosed but now it is believed that she had been suffering from Hodgkin's lymphoma, bovine tuberculosis, or a delayed relapse of epidemic typhus as strong possibilities.
  • Her older sister Cassandra Elizabeth Austen was Austen’s best friend.
  • After Austen’s demise Cassandra burned several of her letters that contained very private and potentially embarrassing information about her sister.
  • Cassandra lived to age 72 and never married.
  • Jane Austen's first book was published when she was 36 years old.
  • During her lifetime Jane published all of her books anonymously, these include Pride and Prejudice (1813), Sense and Sensibility (1811), Emma (1815), and Mansfield Park (1814).
  • The other two novels: Persuasion and Northanger Abbey was published posthumously.
  • Austen was never a best-seller in her lifetime and she earned only £ 684.13 from the four of her novels.
  • The title of Pride and Prejudice was inspired by the book Cecilia (1782) by the English novelist Frances Burney.
  • Austen’s draft of First Impressions later published as Pride and Prejudice, whereas Susan later published as Northanger Abbey.
  • Austen’s brother Henry was her literary agent.
  • Her last work Sanditon left unfinished at the time of her death.
  • Austen is the only novelist before Charles Dickens who still has a significant popular readership.
  • Although Austen often classified as either Romantic or Victorian, in reality neither of the movements influenced her.
  • Her writing was mostly inspired by her own family and her own life.
  • Her storytelling technique has been repeated in numerous literary works, movies and television series.


“Jane Austen” Microsoft Encarta. DVD-ROM. Redmond: Microsoft, 2005.

“Jane Austen.” The 2015. A&E Television Networks. 9 November 2015 <>.

“Jane Austen: What books were on her reading list?.” BBC. 2015. BBC. 9 November 2015

“Charles Dickens.” Wikipedia. 2015. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 9 November 2015

Random Articles