Jane Austen's Life And Work Essay

1618 words - 6 pages

Jane Austen, one of the most celebrated novelists, wrote seven of the most distinguished novels in the English language. Her first novel--which she started in 1795, revised in 1809 or 1810, and finally published in 1811—was Sense and Sensibility. Many agree that her most renowned work would be Pride and Prejudice. Austen began writing in her early twenties but did not publish her work until later in her life. She obtained a better education than most women of her time. Born in Steventon Village in Hampshire on December 16, 1775, Austen was born into an upper middle class family. She was the daughter of George Austen, a clergyman, and Cassandra Austen. Austen received her education at Reading Abby School. Before she was eighteen Austen had written three volumes of juvenilia and her first book was published at the age of thirty-five. Pride and Prejudice, originally titled First Impressions, was submitted to a London publisher by her father in 1797, a year after Austen began writing it. Although the novel was enjoyed by many of her friends and family, the publisher rejected it. She moved to Bath in 1801 and continued to work on First Impressions until 1805 when her father and a close friend passed away in which time she stopped writing for almost five years. In 1809 Austen moved to Hampshire at Chawton College, close to her hometown of Steventon and on January 28, 1813 Pride and Prejudice was published anonymously. Austen’s novels are about people of her societal class on courtship and marriage and throughout her life there were approximately fifteen anonymous reviews, three on Pride and Prejudice. James Edward Austen-Leigh, Austen’s nephew, wrote her first biography in 1870 portraying her as a benevolent, devout, “spinster aunt.” “She is particularly noted for her vivid delineations and lively interplay of character, her suberb sense of comic irony, and her moral firmness” (Bradbook).
Emma Woodhouse, a youthful, strong-willed girl, has just seen her long-time governess, Miss Taylor, marry Mr. Weston after she takes credit for bringing the two together. She is now living alone with her father, Mr. Woodhouse, in quiet solitude. Mr. Knightley, a long-time family friend, tells Emma that she should stop her match-making and keep to her own business. However, she would like to make one more match between Harriet Smith and Mr. Elton. Harriet receives a letter of proposal from Robert Martin and Emma, despite how Harriet feels, urges her to decline his offer in order to successfully match her and Mr. Elton. During Christmas, Mr. and Mrs. John Knightley, George Knightely’s brother and Emma’s sister, come down for a visit. In a conversation Frank Churchill, son of Mr. Weston is brought up and suggested that if Emma were to ever marry, he would be perfect. Mr. Elton confesses his love for Emma, which almost ruins the match between him and Harriet, Miss Bates’ orphan niece, Jane Fairfax, gets together with Frank Churchill after a long,...

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