Jane Austen

Jane Austen coloured version

Jane Austen is one of the more well-known female authors in modern times, thanks to her romance novels Pride & Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. Her stories have become one of the recommended reading materials for teens and adults, which eventually were adapted into television and film.

Jane was born on December 16, 1775. Her father, George Austen, came from a family of wool manufacturers while her mother, Cassandra, was a member of a prominent family, the Leighs. Jane’s family was large as she had six brothers and one sister living under one roof.

Jane grew up with a normal life. She studied at the town of Oxford, and then to the town of Southhampton a year later. Much of her acquired education was through reading books, thanks to her father’s library and books given by her brothers and private theatricals held by her family and friends. She learned French, dancing, music, needlework, music and drama. It was during this time that she began writing, a hobby her father didn’t mind.

Jane began writing in early 1787, starting with poems, stories and plays for her family and friends to enjoy. She later compiled these short stories in 1793 into three notebooks, now known as the Juvenilia. She also wrote a number of parodies and satires, one of which is History of England by Oliver Goldsmith. Her works are often compared, according to scholar Richard Jenkyns, to people like Laurence Sterne or even the popular British comedy group Monty Python.

She also worked on a play, called Sir Charles Grandison or the happy Man, a comedy in 6 acts, in 1793. Sadly, said play is abandoned shortly before she resumed work on it in 1800, due to her focusing on her writing career.

After publishing her first short novel called Lady Susan, which she wrote sometime between 1793 to 1795, she began to work on her first major novel called Elinor and Marianne, which she showed to her family first via a series of letters. Sadly, none of the original drafts came to light before it was reworked into its current form – Sense and Sensibility. The story is about two sisters, named Elinor and Marianne, as they experience life and love, as well as their philosophical resolutions.

When the novel was first released, it was a guaranteed hit. The first edition managed to sell all 750 copies.

She then went on to write her second book called First Impressions in 1796, which was a draft for Pride and Prejudice. As with her previous novel, she showed them to her family first before she finalized and published it. The novel was then published in 1813, which met positive reviews from critics, though some expressed disappointment with it.

These two novels solidified Jane as a writer, and these two novels would follow her even long after her death. And even today, more modern schools continue to suggest her novels to their students.