Jane Austen

Photo: wikipedia

Photo: wikipedia

Brief Biography

Jane Austen (/ˈdʒeɪn ˈɒstɪn/; 16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist known principally for her five major novels which interpret, critique and comment upon the novels of sensibility of the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Her most highly praised novel during her own lifetime was Pride and Prejudice which was her second published novel. Her plots often reflect upon the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of secure social standing and economic security.

Austen’s main novels are rarely out of print today though they were first published anonymously and brought her little personal fame with only a few glancing reviews during her lifetime. A significant transition in her posthumous reputation as an author occurred in 1869, fifty-two years after her death, when her nephew published A Memoir of Jane Austen which effectively introduced her to a wider public and reading audience. Austen’s most successful novel in her own lifetime was Pride and Prejudice which went through two editions during her own life. Her third published novel was Mansfield Park which was largely overlooked by the professional reviewers though it was a great success with the public still within her lifetime.

All five of her major novels were published for the first time between 1811 and 1818. From 1811 until 1816, with the premiere publication of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1815), she achieved success as a published writer. She wrote two additional novels Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published posthumously in 1818, and began another one, which was eventually titled Sanditon, but died before completing it.

During the twentieth and twenty-first centuries Austen’s writings have inspired a large number of critical essays and literary anthologies establishing her place as a prominent British author of international fame. Her books are often used to inspire other cultural arts as well with numerous film productions of her novels starting as early as 1940 with Laurence Olivier‘s leading role in Pride and Prejudice to new productions in the 21st century starring such leading actresses as Keira Knightley in the 2005 production of Pride & Prejudice and Kate Beckinsale in the 2016 production of Love & Friendship. Wikipedia