The Mysterious Miss Austen Who Stood Tall In The Man’s World
“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” – Jane Austen
A woman with immense literary talent, who always spoke her mind with words as precious as pearls. May be that’s how we can portray Jane Austen in a few words. However, it is not good enough considering her contribution in the world of literature.
Jane Austen is perhaps one of the few novelists in world literature who is considered as a “classic” and has a mass appeal. In addition, she is the only writer before Charles Dickens with significant readership all over the world. Austen’s romantic fictions wonderfully depict the bygone era, people and place that still generate immense interest among the readers who are fond of classic novels.
The main feature in Austen’s writing was her satiric undermining of the characters. In addition, her novels also contain colloquialisms, a nonchalant approach to narrate provocatively unprofessional characters, and moving away from the conventions of narrative plotting and continuity.
Facts About Jane Austen:
1. Jan Austen was born on December 16, 1775. She had five siblings — James, George, Edward, Henry, Cassandra and Francis.
2. Jane Austen’s father, George Austen was a country clergyman in a small village named “Steventon” located in the southern English county of Hampshire. Her mother was Cassandra Leigh Austen, who hailed from a higher social rank.
3. By the time she was 23, Austen had finished writing the original versions of Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Abbey. It was a remarkable achievement considering her young age and despite the taboos that women faced in that era.
4. Austen was mainly interested in writing varieties of prose fictions such as “Frederic and Elfrida: A Novel”. Elegant dialogue, noble feelings, unfortunate incidents and delayed courtship are some of the features in such novels.
5. In the fall of 1796, Austen started writing “First Impressions,” which eventually became “Pride and Prejudice”. During the same time, she was also working on “Elinor and Marianne” and had been exploring the social implications of a woman character professing her feelings.
6. Jane’s father George Austen was quite impressed by his daughter’s manuscript that he sent it to the publisher Cadell and Davies. It was the same publishing house that published the work of Samuel Johnson and Edward Gibbon.
7. Austen’s novel “Pride and Prejudice” holds a special place in the hearts of the readers. In 2003, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) conducted a survey in which “Pride and Prejudice” came second as best-loved novels in the UK behind “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien’s.
8. During Austen’s lifetime, all her works had been published anonymously. Her first published work “Sense and Sensibility” mentioned “By a Lady” as the author. In her subsequent novel, “Pride and Prejudice”, the credit went to “The Author of Sense and Sensibility.”
9. It is estimated that there are more than 600 Jane Austen adaptations have been produced all over the world.
10. Austen was never married, though she once received a marriage proposal from a friend’s brother. Later she turned down the proposal after realizing that she didn’t love him.
11. When Austen was working on the manuscript of the “Persuasion”, her health started to decline. By the spring of 1817, here health issues became serious, and on July 18, 1817, she succumbed to her diseases.
12. Some of the popular adaptations of “Pride and Prejudice” have been Bollywood musical “Bride and Prejudice”, Hollywood hit movie “Bridget Jones’ Diary” and the TV show “Death Comes to Pemberley.”
13. In the autumn of 2010, the Walt Disney Corporation started “The Jane Austen Experience” on the outskirts of Bath in a 50-acre site. There a 12-ft high Jane Austen replica greets the visitors. They can go to the “The Ballroom” to watch Jane dancing with a 15-ft high Mr. Darcy to a traditional tune.