2017, Books, Jane Austen, Jane Austen Month

Getting To Know Jane…

Jane Austen is most remembered for her most popular novel Pride and Prejudice however what else do we know about one of England’s most popular authors.

Below is the only known image of Jane Austen to be completed during her lifetime. The drawing was completed by her sister cassandra.

NPG 3630; Jane Austen by Cassandra Austen
by Cassandra Austen, pencil and watercolour, circa 1810

Jane Austen was born in a little village called Steventon which is in Hampshire on the 16 December 1775.  Jane was the second daughter to be born to her parents. Her sister Cassandra was her lifelong companion. Jane also had 6 brothers.

Jane Austen never married but she did get engaged two weeks before her 27th birthday on the 2 December 1802. The gentleman’s name was Harris Bigg-Wither whose family were friends with the Austens, however Jane changed her mind overnight and ended their engagement the next day.

Jane Austen began writing as child and would often perform her works to friends and family.

Jane Austen wrote six complete novels, four of which were published during her lifetime.

  1. Sense & Sensibility (1811)
  2. Pride & Prejudice (1813)
  3. Mansfield Park (1814)
  4. Emma (1815)
  5. Persuasion (1817)
  6. Northanger Abbey (1817)

According to her nephew James, Jane often imagined how the lives of her characters evolved following the conclusion of her novels. My favourite antidotes are that both Kitty and Mary found husbands following the end of Pride and Prejudice and that Mr Woodhouse survived the marriage of his daughter Emma for two years following her marriage to Mr Knightly.

Throughout those six novels there are 14 kisses between the respective couples found between the pages.

Jane Austen was the first author to use the term “Dinner Party”.

Jane Austen died on the 18 July 1817 in Winchester from an unknown illness.

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