Jane Austen

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Jane Austen

2260 Published BooksJane Austen

Irony, wit, and meticulous style of noted British writer Jane Austen penetrates and observes middle-class manners and morality; her novels include Pride and Prejudice (1813) and Emma (1816).

Jane Austen set her English works of romantic fiction among the landed gentry and earned a place as one of the most widely read in literature; her realism and biting social commentary cemented her historical importance among scholars and critics.

Austen lived her entire life as part of a close-knit family, located on the lower fringes of the English landed gentry. Primarily her father and older brothers as well as her own reading educated her. The critical steadfast support of family developed her as a professional. From her teenage years, her artistic apprenticeship lasted until 35 years of age circa 1810. During this period, she experimented with various literary forms, tried and then abandoned the epistolary, extensively revised three major works, and began a fourth.

From Sense and Sensibility in 1811 and with the release of Mansfield Park in 1814, she achieved success and published until 1816. She added Northanger Abbey and Persuasion , published posthumously in 1818, and began a third, eventually titled Sanditon , but died before completing it.

Works of Austen critique the of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and in part transition to 19th-century realism. Her fundamentally comic plots highlight the dependence of women on marriage to secure social and economic standing.

Her work brought her little personal fame and only a few positive reviews during her lifetime, but her nephew published A Memoir of Jane Austen in 1869 and thus introduced her to a wider public, and academia widely accepted her great English before the 1940s. The second half of the 20th century saw a proliferation of scholarship and the emergence of a fan culture.