Born:
December 16, 1775
Died:
July 18, 1817
Age:
41
Signature:
Jane Austen signature
Summary

Jane Austen (/ˈɒstɪn, ˈɔːs-/; 16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen's plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favourable social standing and economic security. Her works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century literary realism. Her use of biting irony, along with her realism, humour, and social commentary, have long earned her acclaim among critics, scholars, and popular audiences alike.

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One of the first two published illustrations of Pride and Prejudice, from the Richard Bentley edition.[99] Caption reads: "She then told him [Mr Bennett] what Mr Darcy had voluntarily done for Lydia. He heard her with astonishment."
One of the first two published illustrations of Pride and Prejudice, from the Richard Bentley edition.[99] Caption reads: "She then told him [Mr Bennett] what Mr Darcy had voluntarily done for Lydia. He heard her with astonishment."
First edition title page from Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen's first published novel (1811)
First edition title page from Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen's first published novel (1811)
Portrait of Henry IV. Declaredly written by "a partial, prejudiced, & ignorant Historian", The History of England was illustrated by Austen's sister Cassandra (c. 1790).
Portrait of Henry IV. Declaredly written by "a partial, prejudiced, & ignorant Historian", The History of England was illustrated by Austen's sister Cassandra (c. 1790).
Silhouette of Cassandra Austen, Jane's sister and closest friend
Silhouette of Cassandra Austen, Jane's sister and closest friend
Thomas Langlois Lefroy, Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, by W. H. Mote (1855); in old age, Lefroy admitted to a nephew that he had been in love with Jane Austen: "It was boyish love."[50]
Thomas Langlois Lefroy, Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, by W. H. Mote (1855); in old age, Lefroy admitted to a nephew that he had been in love with Jane Austen: "It was boyish love."[50]
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Steventon rectory, as depicted in A Memoir of Jane Austen, was in a valley and surrounded by meadows.[21]
Steventon rectory, as depicted in A Memoir of Jane Austen, was in a valley and surrounded by meadows.[21]
The cottage in Chawton where Jane Austen lived during the last eight years of her life, now Jane Austen's House Museum
The cottage in Chawton where Jane Austen lived during the last eight years of her life, now Jane Austen's House Museum
In 1816, the editors of The New Monthly Magazine noted Emma's publication but chose not to review it.[K]
In 1816, the editors of The New Monthly Magazine noted Emma's publication but chose not to review it.[K]
 
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