Wonder Woman: Jane Austen

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The British Library

Portrait from “The Novels of Jane Austen. (Winchester edition.)”.

Jordan Arseneault and Ella Delatush

Jane Austen was a novelist born on December 16, 1775. She was born to Reverend George Austen and Cassandra (Leigh) Austen. Jane was one of their seven children. Jane’s siblings in birth order were James, George, Edward, Henry, Cassandra, Francis, and Charles Austen. She fell second to last, right before her brother Charles. When Jane was eight, she and Cassandra were sent out to a boarding school to continue learning. In school she was taught music, dance, and French. When she returned home, studies consisted of any information her father and brothers taught her. She also learned a lot from reading. Her father had a large amount of books in his library where she spent a lot of time with her sister, reading and writing. Jane was given writing utensils by her father to deepen her interest in literature. In 1787, Jane became interested in writing her own pieces. These old works are collected in three notebooks which are given the name Juvenilia. In December of 1800, Jane’s father retired. Jane was disappointed because this meant that they would be moving away from the town she had grown up in. The family moved to the town of Bath when she was 27. In 1816, Jane’s health was deteriorating but she ignored it to continue working on her writing. At 41 years old, simple things like walking became a huge burden. In May 1817, she died in Winchester. She most likely died of a disease that did not have a cure during that time period. 

Jane Austen wrote multiple novels throughout her lifetime. These novels got her the reputation of one of the greatest English writers in history. Her work started receiving a lot of attention in the 1920’s. Scholars took a closer look at her writing and started announcing her works as masterpieces. Sense & Sensibility, Pride & Prejudice, and Mansfield were some of her most popular writings. Sense & Sensibility was her first work of literature and was published in 1811. Sense & Sensibility is about a poor family, focusing on the sisters Elinor and Marianne. The novel talks about common sense and emphasizes how people choose based on emotions more than rational thinking. Her second work, Pride & Prejudice, was a huge success. It was published in January of 1813 and sold extremely well. Today, the book is still read by young adults and in schools. The book is about Elizabeth Bennet and is set in the 1800s. Mansfield Park was published in 1814. The book follows Fanny Price and her growth into adulthood. She created many more works of literature which are still read and talked about today.

Works Cited

“Jane Austen Biography.” Jane Austen – English Author, https://www.janeausten.org/jane-austen-biography.php. 

“Jane Austen.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 6 May 2021, https://www.biography.com/writer/jane-austen. 

“Jane Austen.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., https://www.britannica.com/biography/Jane-Austen.