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Spotlight on: Jane Austen

Spotlight on: Jane Austen

It’s time to celebrate all things Jane Austen!

Jane Austen is arguably one of the most recognised names in literary history. But the queen of romance fiction didn’t start off as a success: although her books sold steadily in her lifetime, it wasn’t until the Victorian period that she was cherished as a great author. She grew up in rural Hampshire in the 18th century, with a parson father and six siblings. She began scribbling down ideas for novels, short stories and poems from the age of twelve. By age twenty three she’d already written the drafts for most famous books such as Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility.

Remaining unmarried, and telling her niece that “Nothing can be compared to the misery of being bound without Love’’, Austen has remained a feminist icon throughout the generations. She also wittily revealed the social minutiae of the regency period, highlighting the importance of class and social presentation through her ‘novel of manners’. Alongside Shakespeare and Agatha Christie, she remains one of the bestselling British authors of all time. 

With today marking 208 years since Pride and Prejudice was published in 1813, there is no better time to look back on this wonderful author and her contribution to literature as a whole. Despite only publishing six novels total, her impact on the English language cannot be understated.

Five Fun Facts About The Queen of Romance:

  • Two of Austen’s novels: Sanditon and Lady Susan, were published after her death 
  • Austen brewed her own beer!
  • Rudyard Kipling wrote a short story, “The Janeites”, based on Jane Austen fans
  • Austen received a marriage proposal from Harris Wither which she originally accepted after pressure from her family, but later declined because she didn’t love him
  • Austen was so fond of her novels that