Jane Austen was born in Steventon, England 16 December 1775. She was a well-known British writer who lived while XVIII and XIX centuries. She was the daughter of the reverend Austen. Jane had six brothers and a sister named Cassandra. The relationship between both of them was not only special because they were sisters, but also because they were very good friends. In fact, they were confidents and there is a collection of letters they wrote to each other in which some relevant points of Jane Austen’s life are revealed.
Between 1785 and 1786, Jane and Cassandra were students of a private school in Reading. Moreover, three of Austen’s brothers signed in the army and that is why the writer used to know so much information about the way of living in the regiment. After 1787, Jane started writing, for the joy of her family, Juvenilia, which included some parodies about the literature of that time.
When talking about her personal life there is not constancy about any husband, there were however, two important men in her life. The first one was Thomas Letroy, a man she met at the age of 20. She seemed to be in love with him but his precarious economical situation did not let him marry Jane. We do not know much about the second man; the only thing that is known is that she used to go on holidays to the coast every summer. She met him there and he apparently fell in love with her, and so did she. However, he tragically died. This story does not appear in the letter collection of the sisters but Cassandra told it to her nieces once. Neither Jane nor Cassandra got ever married.
In 1803 Jane Austen sold her first novel,’ The Northanger abbey’, but the book was not published until 14 years later. In 1805, her father died letting her, Cassandra and their mother without any money. In 1806, they moved to Southampton a town near the navy base of Portsmouth. That changed allowed her and her sister visit their brothers who were working there. In 1809 she continued writing and revising some novels, she sold ‘Sense and sensibility’ in 1810. The author also tried selling ‘Pride and Prejudice’ but this was sold in 1812, and published in 1813.
Nevertheless, even though her career as a writer was going well, indeed, she published ‘Emma’ in 1815, she started to get sick and she was moved to Winchester in 1817. She died the 18th of July of the same year there, and her last words were: I do not want anything but death. She was buried in Winchester’s cathedral.
FEATURES OF HER WORK:
Jane Austen was known because of her capacity of describing common and real things in a romantic and special way. James Edward Austen-Leigh wrote in his sister’s memories that ‘she opened her mouth with wisdom and in her tongue is the law of kindness ‘. With her, a new style of writing was born; her descriptions were realistic and showed good behavior apart from showing fictitious experiences, always maintaining the truth principles. She wrote with romantic sensibility typical scenes of the time, everything with a touch of affection and traditionalism.
Lionel Trilling wrote in one of his essays about the writer:
“Jane Austen was the first writer who represented the modern personality specifically. She talked about the culture in which this was produced. Moral life had never been showed as she did show it. Moral life was never thought to be so complicated, hard and exhaustive. Hegel talked about secularizing spirituality as an essential feature of modernity and Jane Austen was the first one telling us what that secularization supposed.”
- Pride and Prejudice
- Sense and sensibility
- The Northanger abbey.