Jane Austen


 Easton Press Jane Austen books

Persuasion - 1977
Pride and Prejudice - 1977
Emma - 1983
Sense and Sensibility - 1985

1996 six volume set including:
Pride and Prejudice
Mansfield Park
Northanger Abbey
Sense and Sensibility
Emma
Persuasion


Franklin Library Jane Austen books

Pride and Prejudice - World's Best Loved Books - 1979
Pride and prejudice - 100 Greatest Books of All Time - 1980

 

Who is Jane Austen?

Jane Austen, (1775-1817), was a British novelist, born in Steventon, England, and educated at home. She was seventh of eight children. Her father, who was rector of the parish, moved the family to Bath upon his retirement in 1801. After his death Jane Austen lived with her mother and younger sister in Southampton (1805-09) and Chawton (1809-17). In 1817 they moved to Winchester, where she died. She never married.

Jane Austen's first novel, Sense and Sensibility (1811; written before 1796), is a subtle analysis of the romantic belief that sentiment is to be trusted more than common sense and reasonableness. Pride and Prejudice (1813; written in 1796-97) is perhaps her best book. It concerns the romantic errors of a group of sisters, notably the intelligent but impulsive heroine, Elizabeth. Through experience and painful reconsideration, she alters her first impressions of a neighbor's guest, Fitzwilliam Darcy, and finally marries him. In Northanger Abbey (posthumously published, 1818; written in 1797-98) Jane Austen caricatures the Gothic romance (q.v.), which was extremely popular at the time, and develops her characteristic theme that maturity is achieved through the lost of illusions.

Jane Austen's other novels were written between 1811 and 1816. Mansfield Park (1814) contrasts the modesty and good sense of the heroine with the selfishness of her spoiled cousins. In Emma (1816) the protagonist is a witty but girl whose vanity and self-deceptions involve her in disturbing but educative complications. Persuasion (posthumously published, 1818), deals with a young girl who is influenced by well intentioned but calculating outsiders to break of an engagement. She learns gradually to recognize the wisdom of independent judgment and eventually marries the man to whom she was betrothed. Some biographers of Jane Austen regard this novel as partially autobiographical.

Jane Austen is regarded as one of the greatest English novelist. All her best books deal with relationships between young men and women whose faults of character, due often to a deficiency in their upbringing, are corrected by the lessons learned through some tribulation. She depicts the English country gentry participating in the village life with which she was familiar and develops the natures of all her characters, even the most subordinate. In consequence, although the themes of her novels seem unimportant, her treatment of them achieves major significance. Her fidelity to the truths of everyday experience and her delightful sense of vitality, conveyed in a lucid prose style, enable readers to recognize in Jane Austen's works universal patterns of sensibility not found in those of any other novelist.

 

How did Jane Austen die?

Jane Austen died on July 18, 1817, at the age of 41. The cause of her death has been a subject of speculation and debate among scholars and historians. The exact nature of her illness is not definitively known, as the records from the time are not entirely clear. The widely accepted theory is that Jane Austen likely died of Addison's disease, a rare disorder affecting the adrenal glands. Symptoms of Addison's disease include fatigue, weakness, weight loss, and low blood pressure. However, since the medical knowledge of the time was limited, and detailed records about Austen's illness are scarce, it's challenging to provide a conclusive diagnosis. In a letter written by her sister Cassandra, it was mentioned that Jane Austen's health had been declining, and she experienced symptoms such as fevers and discomfort. The specific details, though, remain somewhat elusive, and the cause of her death remains a matter of historical speculation.

 

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice stands as a timeless masterpiece of English literature published in 1813. Set against the backdrop of Regency-era England, this beloved novel intertwines themes of love, marriage, social class, and morality with wit, charm, and keen observation. At the heart of Pride and Prejudice are the enduring characters of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. Elizabeth, the second eldest daughter of the Bennet family, is a spirited and intelligent young woman whose independent spirit sets her apart from the societal norms of her time. Mr. Darcy, a wealthy and aloof gentleman, initially comes across as proud and arrogant, but beneath his reserved exterior lies a man of depth and integrity.

The novel unfolds as a series of intricate social machinations and romantic entanglements, as Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy navigate the pitfalls of misunderstandings, pride, and societal expectations on their journey to self-discovery and eventual love. Austen's prose is marked by its wit, irony, and astute social commentary, as she deftly skewers the hypocrisies and absurdities of Regency-era society. Through the lens of the Bennet family and their interactions with the various members of the landed gentry, Austen offers readers a window into the intricacies of class, gender, and marriage in early 19th-century England.

Pride and Prejudice transcends its time and place to resonate with readers across generations and cultures. Its timeless themes and universally relatable characters have ensured its enduring popularity, with countless adaptations, spin-offs, and homages paying tribute to Austen's enduring legacy.

As a testament to Austen's literary genius, Pride and Prejudice continues to captivate readers with its wit, charm, and insight into the human condition. Through its pages, Austen invites readers to ponder the complexities of love, the nature of prejudice, and the enduring power of hope in the face of societal expectations and personal obstacles.


Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility is a classic novel by Jane Austen, published in 1811. It follows the lives of the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, as they navigate the challenges of love, societal expectations, and personal growth in early 19th-century England. Elinor embodies the "sense" of the title, displaying practicality, restraint, and emotional resilience, while Marianne represents "sensibility," exhibiting passion, idealism, and vulnerability. The sisters face heartbreak and disappointment as they encounter various suitors and social obstacles, ultimately learning valuable lessons about the complexities of relationships, the importance of self-awareness, and the balance between rationality and emotion. Austen's wit, social commentary, and insightful characterizations make Sense and Sensibility a classic exploration of human nature and the pursuit of happiness amidst the constraints of societal norms and personal desires.


Emma

Emma, first published in 1815, centers around the titular character, Emma Woodhouse, a young and wealthy woman living in the small village of Highbury. Emma is intelligent, charming, and confident, but she also possesses a penchant for meddling in the romantic affairs of others. Despite her good intentions, her matchmaking efforts often lead to misunderstandings and complications. As Emma navigates the intricacies of social life in Highbury, she becomes entangled in a web of romantic entanglements, including her own. She befriends Harriet Smith, a sweet and naive young woman of lower social standing, and sets out to find her a suitable match. Along the way, Emma must confront her own biases, shortcomings, and misconceptions about love and relationships.

Through Austen's keen observations and sparkling wit, Emma offers a humorous and insightful exploration of social conventions, class dynamics, and the complexities of human nature. The novel's enduring appeal lies in its vivid characters, clever dialogue, and timeless themes of self-discovery, humility, and the transformative power of love. Emma remains one of Austen's most beloved works, cherished for its wit, charm, and enduring relevance. Its protagonist's journey from self-assured matchmaker to self-aware woman is a testament to Austen's mastery of character development and her ability to capture the nuances of human behavior with warmth and wit.


Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park is a captivating novel that takes readers into the world of Fanny Price, a young girl from a poor family who is sent to live with her wealthy relatives at the grand estate of Mansfield Park. As Fanny navigates the complexities of her new environment, she finds herself caught between the rigid social expectations of her adoptive family and her own sense of morality and integrity. With its richly drawn characters, intricate plot twists, and sharp social commentary, Mansfield Park is a timeless exploration of class, morality, and the pursuit of happiness in Regency-era England. Austen's wit and insight shine brightly in this masterful work, making it a must-read for fans of classic literature.


Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey is a delightful coming-of-age tale that follows the adventures of Catherine Morland, a young and imaginative heroine who finds herself navigating the complexities of love and society in Regency-era England. As Catherine is introduced to the world of Bath society, she becomes enamored with the mysterious Henry Tilney and finds herself drawn into a web of intrigue and romance. Filled with Austen's trademark wit, charm, and social satire, Northanger Abbey is a delightful romp through the conventions of Gothic literature and the social mores of Austen's time. With its endearing characters, sparkling dialogue, and clever narrative twists, this classic novel continues to captivate readers of all ages.

Executed with high-spirited gusto, Northanger Abbey is a lighthearted, yet unsentimental commentary on love and marriage.


Persuasion

Persuasion is a poignant and insightful novel that explores the themes of love, regret, and second chances. Set in early 19th-century England, the story follows Anne Elliot, a woman of quiet strength and intelligence, who finds herself reunited with Captain Frederick Wentworth, a man she was once engaged to but persuaded to break off the engagement due to his lack of social standing and prospects. As Anne navigates the complexities of her family's financial struggles and the societal pressures of her class, she grapples with her lingering feelings for Wentworth and the consequences of her past decisions. Through Austen's keen observations and subtle wit, "Persuasion" offers a nuanced portrayal of love, marriage, and the passage of time.

With its richly drawn characters, elegant prose, and timeless themes, Persuasion stands as one of Austen's most beloved works. It is a tale of resilience, forgiveness, and the enduring power of love to triumph over adversity. Austen's masterpiece continues to captivate readers with its depth of emotion, keen social commentary, and timeless relevance.



Jane Austen quotes

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."

"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid."

"I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book!"

"There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature."

"A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment."

"Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings."

"Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love."

"To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love."

"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship."

"It is such a happiness when good people get together—and they always do."


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