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Jane Austen biography

Jane Austen ebooks

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Jane Austen page

Jane Austen was born in 1775 at Steventon in Hampshire. She was the penultimate of 8 children born to the Reverend George Austen and his wife Cassandra. Jane had 6 brothers and 1 sister, also named Cassandra, who was 3 years older than her and whom she idolised. Jane received a great deal more schooling than was common for girls in that era. Indeed, when she was first tutored at the age of 8, she was considered too young to go to school, but Jane always wanted to do whatever Cassandra did. Both her parents were avid readers, and her father had a library of over 500 books. Many of these books were the popular entertainments of the time, which were far less restrained in topic and etiquette than when Jane Austen herself was writing. Many of these were the Gothic novels that Jane lampooned in the first novel she wrote, “Susan”. This novel would later be titled “Northanger Abbey”, published after Jane’s death. This was despite the fact that Jane had sold the novel to a publisher as early as 1803.

 

  Although the subject matter of many of her novels was marriage, Jane Austen famously did not marry. She did come close many times.  Her sister Cassandra said that she had met one eligible man on holiday near Lyme, who had promised to seek her out again. However, the next Jane Austen heard of him was that he had died. There is speculation that this incident may have formed part of the inspiration for her novel “Persuasion”.  Prior to that, Jane and Thomas Lefroy had become enamoured of each other, but nothing ever came of this, as he was too poor to marry her at this stage.  It was only many years later that he became Chief Justice of Ireland. Jane did accept a proposal of marriage in 1802 from Harris Bigg-Whither, who was 6 years younger than her, but she changed her mind about this overnight.

 

  The previous year, Jane Austen’s world was somewhat shaken up by her father’s decision to retire in Bath.   Although many episodes in her novels occurred at Bath, Jane didn’t actually enjoy living in the town, and missed the Hampshire countryside.  When her father died in 1805, Jane and her mother and Cassandra (also unmarried), had to be supported by her brothers.  In 1806, they moved to Southampton to be near her brothers Frank and Charles, who became admirals in the navy.  In 1809, they were offered a cottage on one of her brother Edward’s estates in Chawton. Jane was delighted to be back in Hampshire, and embarked upon writing once more. “Sense and Sensibility” was published in 1811 anonymously (“By a Lady”), as gentlewomen were not encouraged to be authors in this era. “Pride and Prejudice”, which Jane described as her “own darling child”, was published in 1813. These first published novels were so successful that Jane Austen’s authorship of them came to be known outside her own family circle, particularly as the family themselves were proud of Jane’s accomplishments.  Mansfield Park” was published in 1814. Jane’s brother Henry lived in London, as he acted as her agent in her dealings with her publishers.  Emma” was the next to be published in 1815.  She finished “Persuasion” in 1816, but about this time, she became increasingly unwell.  In 1817, she moved to Winchester to be closer to her doctor, and this is where she died in July of the same year in Cassandra’s arms.  Thus it was that her last novel, “Sanditon”, was never finished, while “Persuasion” was also published posthumously.

 

Jane Austen biography

Jane Austen ebooks

Free Jane Austen essays

Academic Jane Austen essays

 

Emma – Project Gutenberg ebook

 

Mansfield Park – Project Gutenberg ebook

 

Northanger Abbey – Project Gutenberg ebook

 

Persuasion – Project Gutenberg ebook

 

Pride and Prejudice – Project Gutenberg ebook

 

Sense and Sensibility – Project Gutenberg ebook

 

Jane Austen biography

Jane Austen ebooks

Free Jane Austen essays

Academic Jane Austen essays

 

Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park versus Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre – Kevin Patrick Mahoney’s essay

 

The Jane Austen homepage – contains several free Jane Austen essays

 

The Jane Austen Society of North America – has annual Jane Austen essay competitions, and they publish the essays for free online

 

Jane Austen biography

Jane Austen ebooks

Free Jane Austen essays

Academic Jane Austen essays

 

The following essays are in academic publications and may be available for you to read at your college library. You usually have to pay to access these essays online

 

Kramp, Michael "The Woman, the Gypsies, and England: Harriet Smith's National Role"
College Literature - 31.1, Winter 2004, pp. 147-168
West Chester University

 

Gaull, Marilyn "Jane Austen: Afterlives"
Eighteenth-Century Life - Volume 28, Number 2, Spring 2004, pp. 113-124
Duke University Press

 

Deresiewicz, William "Community and Cognition in Pride and Prejudice"
ELH - Volume 64, Number 2, Summer 1997, pp. 503-535
The Johns Hopkins University Press

 

Karounos, Michael "Ordination and Revolution in Mansfield Park"
SEL Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 - Volume 44, Number 4, Autumn 2004, pp. 715-736
The Johns Hopkins University Press

 

Gunn, Daniel P. "Free Indirect Discourse and Narrative Authority in Emma"
Narrative - Volume 12, Number 1, January 2004, pp. 35-54
The Ohio State University Press

 

Gallop, David "Jane Austen and the Aristotelian Ethic"
Philosophy and Literature - Volume 23, Number 1, April 1999, pp. 96-109
The Johns Hopkins University Press

 

Miller, Christopher R. "Jane Austen's Aesthetics and Ethics of Surprise"
Narrative - Volume 13, Number 3, October 2005, pp. 238-260
The Ohio State University Press

 

Rohrbach, Emily "Austen's Later Subjects"
SEL Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 - Volume 44, Number 4, Autumn 2004, pp. 737-752
The Johns Hopkins University Press

 

Richardson, Alan 1955- "Of Heartache and Head Injury: Reading Minds in Persuasion"
Poetics Today - Volume 23, Number 1, Spring 2002, pp. 141-160
Duke University Press

 

Cantor, Paul A. (Paul Arthur) "A Class Act: Persuasion and the Lingering Death of the Aristocracy"
Philosophy and Literature - Volume 23, Number 1, April 1999, pp. 127-137
The Johns Hopkins University Press

 

Brodey, Inger Sigrun "Adventures of a Female Werther: Jane Austen's Revision of Sensibility"
Philosophy and Literature - Volume 23, Number 1, April 1999, pp. 110-126
The Johns Hopkins University Press

 

Ferguson, Frances "Jane Austen, Emma, and the Impact of Form"
MLQ: Modern Language Quarterly - Volume 61, Number 1, March 2000, pp. 157-180
Duke University Press

 

Young, Kay 1959- "Feeling Embodied: Consciousness, Persuasion, and Jane Austen"
Narrative - Volume 11, Number 1, January 2003, pp. 78-92
The Ohio State University Press

 

Marsh, Kelly A. "Contextualizing Bridget Jones"
College Literature - 31.1, Winter 2004, pp. 52-72
West Chester University

 

Favret, Mary A. "Everyday War"
ELH - Volume 72, Number 3, Fall 2005, pp. 605-633
The John Hopkins University Press

 

Jager, Colin "Mansfield Park and the End of Natural Theology"
MLQ: Modern Language Quarterly - Volume 63, Number 1, March 2002, pp. 31-63
Duke University Press

 

Edgecombe, Rodney Stenning "Change and Fixity in Sense and Sensibility"
SEL Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 - Volume 41, Number 3, Summer 2001, pp. 605-622
The Johns Hopkins University Press

 

Nachumi, Nora ""I Am Elizabeth Bennet": Defining One's Self through Austen's Third Novel"
Pedagogy - Volume 4, Issue 1, Winter 2004, pp. 119-124
Duke University Press

 

Jane Austen biography

Jane Austen ebooks

Free Jane Austen essays

Academic Jane Austen essays

 

 

 

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