Jane Austen - Life and Work

Highlights of life and work of British authoress Jane Austen.

Life

Born: 16 December 1775
Steventon Rectory, Hampshire, England

Died: 18 July 1817 (aged 41)
Winchester, Hampshire, England

Resting place: Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire, England

Period: 1787 to 1809–11

Jane Austen's life

12/16/1775 - 07/18/1817

Period of Jane Austen's life

Work

Literary work of Jane Austen - Summary

Sense and Sensibility

10/31/1811

Sense and Sensibility was the first novel from Jane Austen, published in october 31th, 1811.

The Dashwood ladies, after the death of the family patriarch, were forced to to leave their beloved Norland Park, which was bequeathed to a son of Mr. Dashwood's first marriage.

The love affairs of Elinor and Marianne Dashwood highlights a strong theme in the novel, which is whether to marry for love or money, a question that still today is relevant.

Pride and Prejudice

01/01/1813

Pride and Prejudice tells the love story between Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy. She is a witty and good humored young woman and he a rich landowner at Derbyshire.

The plot evolves around the theme of the pride on his side, and prejudice on hers. The main idea is that people and things are not what they seem to be at first look.

Many of her readers would say that this is her master work.

Mansfield Park

01/01/1814

Jane Austen skillfully brings to the stage a mix of emotions, leading us to think about what is really important in life, beyond the frames of prejudice in which people, even nowadays, are often caged.

Fanny Price, a poor relation of the wealthy Bertram family, is the heroine in this story.

Worthy of mention is the insufferable character of Mrs. Norris, which adds a new dimension to the concept of smallness of mind.

Emma

12/1/1815

"Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her."

That's probably the best ever description of Emma's caracter. The plot is about a young woman who is very busy with other's marriage business, even to the point of not perceiving her own feelings.

Though some critics have claimed lack of story, dozens of adaptations for television, cinema and theatre seem to indicate otherwise. The minutiae about trivial matters of daily life does not compromise the plot's appeal.

Northanger Abbey

12/01/1817

The 17 year old Catherine Morland is the naive heroine of this novel. In her first contact with the world (the city of Bath) she comes to learn that not everything is exactly as it seems to be at first sight. In time her first friends at Bath show themselves to be quite different from what she first thought they were.

Not only there she finds herself misled. Guided by her reading of Udolpho works, she fancies that Tilney's house, Northanger Abbey, is full of secret chambers and mysteries.

Also, General Tilney hastily and wrongly concludes she is rich and elects her to be his daughter in law. The sting of his disappointment hurts her.

That was the first of Jane Auten's novels to be ready for publishing, actually only published after her death.

Persuasion

12/1/1818

Miss Anne Elliot was persuaded by her good friend, Lady Russel, to withdraw of a romantic relationship with then Mr. Wentworth, with whom she marries through many pains eight years later.

The authoress's recurring theme of whether marrying by money or love is once more at the spotlight of the plot.

Force own opinions at others can make them suffer, despite good intentions. 'Let each one use his/her right to choose' is screamed from the start to the end of the novel.

Not only witty, Jane Austen showed in this work sharp understanding of human nature.