Jane Austen was born in 1775 at the rectory in Steventon, Hampshire, England. She never married and remained at Steventon for the majority of her life. She had four brothers and a sister, Cassandra, with whom she maintained a close relationship throughout her life. Her close family ties and quiet lifestyle gave her the insight she needed to write her novels, each an enchanting and nuanced portrait of English gentry life and manners.
- Sense and Sensibility (1811)
- Sense and Sensibility is a novel of manners and societal expectations. The story concerns two sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood (Elinor representing “sense” and Marianne “sensibility”). Along with their mother and younger sister Margaret, they are left impoverished after the death of their father. The family is forced to move to a country cottage, offered to them by a generous relative. Before the move, Elinor forms an attachment to Edward Ferrars, and after the move, Marianne forms one for John Willoughby. These attachments lead to problems both personally and socially, and they must learn important lessons about themselves before resolutions can occur. The novel was published in 1811 and was the first of Austen's works to be published, although it was originally printed under the pseudonym "A Lady."
- Northanger Abbey (1817)
- Northanger Abbey follows Catherine Morland and family friends Mr. and Mrs. Allen as they visit Bath, England. Seventeen year-old Catherine spends her time visiting newly made friends, like Isabella Thorpe, and going to balls. Catherine finds herself pursued by Isabella’s brother John Thorpe and by Henry Tilney. She also becomes friends with Eleanor Tilney, Henry’s younger sister. Mr. Henry Tilney captivates her with his view on novels and knowledge of history and the world. The Tilneys invite Catherine to visit their father’s estate, Northanger Abbey, which, because she has been reading Ann Radcliffe’s gothic novel The Mysteries of Udolpho, Catherine expects to be dark, ancient and full of fantastical mystery. Northanger Abbey is considered a parody of a gothic novel.
FCIT. (2014, April 24). Jane Austen author page. Retrieved April 24, 2014, from
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FCIT, "Jane Austen author page." Accessed April 24, 2014..