The Power of the Pen: A Biography of Jane Austen

I think we’ve all heard of the amazing woman named Jane Austen. But how much do we really know about her? It’s GirlMogul Rose here, and I wanted to gather some more background information about this talented writer.

Jane Austen was born in England in December of 1775. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of information about Austen, because of the time period she grew up in. However, she wrote a lot of letters back and forth to her sister, Cassandra. Some letters were burned by the heirs of her brother, Francis, and the remainders seem to only portray young Jane as more of a nice, obedient girl. These letters are a source from which biographers received information about her to report today. Apparently, Austen had a very large, but very close family. She has six brothers, and one sister. One fact that I thought was interesting was that both Jane Austen and her sis, Cassandra Austen, died unmarried, a very odd fact considering the times in which they lived.

Austen received an education mostly from teachings form her father and older brothers, and then a boarding school. She started out writing plays and poems for fun, and then began working on novels as a professional writer. She came out with Sense and Sensibility in 1811. Other popular titles of Austen, even now, came out within just a few years after. For example, Pride and Prejudice came out in 1813, as did Mansfield Park in 1814, and Emma in 1816. She wrote other novels, but died before they were published. Two were published after her death, and one was never completed. Austen became very ill in 1816, but kept at her literary passions. She died in 1817, after being bedridden for quite a few months. It’s tough to speculate what she may have had, but some historians believe it could have been Addison’s disease.

Austen’s works all feature a newly-found sense of realism. They capture and provide a kind of social commentary on women during that time period, and therefore have become important feminist texts. She talks a lot about how women were so dependent of institutions such as marriage, just to give an example. What’s sad is that she published most of her books anonymously, and it was not until the 20th century in which her novels and other writings were truly revered. The language she uses can be challenging, but her stories are touching and profound. Novels such as Pride and Prejudice were even turned in Hollywood blockbusters, featuring actresses like Keira Knightley. Give her books a try!

Posted by GirlMogul Rose

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