Jane Austen was an English writer whose romantic novels earned her a place among the most important novelists of all times. She is appreciated most for the realism and the biting irony of her prose. Her books show how dependent women of those times were on securing social standing and economic security. As it happened to several authors that are now famous, her works did not achieve fame during her lifetime. In fact, she received few positive reviews. It was only in the 194os that she became renowned and received a place among the most famous English writers of all times.
Jane Austen was born in 1775 in Hampshire, England. Information about Jane Austen’s life is very scarce. Most of her letters were destroyed either by herself, or by her brother during her lifetime. What remained were few letters and personal possession. Most of the facts we know about Jane Austen are based on the writings of her family and relatives. Jane Austen started writing poems and short stories for her family in 1787. Some of these works were complied in a series now known as Juvenilia. Her first published novel was “Sense and Sensibility” in 1811. It was later followed by “Pride and Prejudice” in 1813, “Mansfield Park” in 1814 and “Emma” in 1815. Her other works, like “Northanger Abbey” and “Persuasion” were published after her death, in 1818. Jane Austen’s last novel, “Sanditon” was never finished due to the author’s death.
In 1816, Jane Austen started feeling unwell. Her health started slowly deteriorating and she died the following year. It is still unknown was caused her death. Some historians believe it may have been Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Others speculated that she had had Addison’s disease. Typhus was also listed as a possible cause. Recent studies speculate that her death might have been caused by arsenic poisoning. It is a known fact that during those times medicine contained arsenic. It is now believed that the frequent doses of a certain type of medicine containing arsenic led to her death.
During the last few decades, thanks to movies, Jane Austen’s popularity increased. At a certain moment, all around the world, there were 600 Jane Austen adaptations being produced. Recently, a mysterious new manuscript has been found near Winchester. Allegedly it was written by Jane Austen. If it is proven to be genuine, it might be one of the most important literary discoveries of the century.
A study of Jane Austen’s family is as fascinating as studying the author’s life. Did you know that Jane Austen might be related to Lord Byron?
( Source: Wikipedia )
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