Austen Jane 1775 - 1817 (42)
Jane Austen (1775- 1817) was a great English novelist of the early 19th century, one of the most popular in English literature ever. She was born on December 16, 1775 in Stiventon of Hampshire (southern England) and was the seventh of eight children (six boys and two girls) of the Reverend George Austen, minister of Stiventon. In 1783 Jane and her sister were sent to boarding school where they both caught a fever (possibly typhus) and Jane nearly died.
In 1801 Jane moved with her sister and parents to Bath In 1802 she accepted a marriage proposal but the following day, without an explanation, she changed her mind. She never got married neither did her sister, with whom she had a very close relationship. Her father George Austen died in 1805 and in 1807 she moved to Southampton, a flourishing port and town with a population of over 8,000. However in 1809 she moved to the little village of Chawton in north Hampshire.
Even as a child Jane Austen loved writing and she wrote a lot of short stories. About 1795 she wrote her first novel and in 1811 "Sense and Sensibility", was published. This was followed by the "Pride and Prejudice" (1813), "Mansfield Park" (1814) and "Emma" (1816). These four novels were published anonymously. She died in 1817, after several months of painful illness. Posthumously, her brother published 2 more novels, “Northanger Abbey” and "Persuasion" (1818).
While living, her books didn’t have any recognition. Fifty years after her death, one of her nephews published her biography revealing the identity of the author and making her novels widely known. The following decades her books had great success, making Austen one of the best selling novelists.
JANE AUSTEN, Pride and Prejudice