Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice not only established her historical importance among scholars and critics, but continues to remain popular. Pride and Prejudice, a comedy of manners, was published in 1813, and is a staple of the English literature. It recreates the social world of the landed gentry of early 19th-century England and embodies the theme that preconceptions and egotism can overcome true love. Pride and Prejudice is somewhat autobiographical; emphasizes the key elements of setting, characterization and theme; and has received extensive and thorough criticism.
Pride and Prejudice focuses on Mrs. Bennet and her five daughters: Jane, Elizabeth, Lydia, Kitty, ...view middle of the document...
Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775, in Hampshire, England. She was the seventh child and the second daughter to George Austen and Cassandra Leigh. The Austen children, from eldest to youngest, were James, Edward, Henry, Cassandra, Francis, George, Jane, and Charles. Later in life, Henry became her literary agent and eventually saw her post-partum novels through the press (“Biography: Life and Family”). James and Henry had careers in the Church of England, Francis and Charles enlisted in the Royal Navy, and as was the tradition, the women stayed at home and prepared for marriage. However, Reverend George Austen, a country clergyman, believed in educating his daughters. Their mother, Cassandra Austen, was of a higher birth while their father, George Austen, made little money as a tutor and as the local rector. Although they were financially inadequate, they both agreed to instill in their daughters the value of education, religion, and the arts (Telgen).
Neither Jane Austen nor her sister Cassandra Austen had formal schooling, but both were tutored by their father, as well as by their uncle. The Austen daughters’ only schooling outside of home was when they attended Oxford boarding school and later on, the Abbey school, for a short period of time. They were later withdrawn because Rev. Austen could no longer pay the tuition. George Austen continued to school Jane Austen and she developed her love of reading and writing in her father’s extensive library. Through her father’s library, she read widely the works of many famous authors, including William Shakespeare and John Milton. During this time, she also embraced two acceptable feminine pursuits: playing the piano and embroidering (Aronson).
By 1787, Austen had already begun to compose for the entertainment of herself and others. Inspired by her stimulating friends and family, she began to compose parodies of sentimental novels, a popular form characterized by a melodramatic plotline and improbably perfect heroines. Some examples of her juvenile work include “The Beautiful Cassandra: A Novel in Twelve Chapters, “and “Love and Friendship: A Novel.” Between 1787 and 1793, Austen wrote a large body of material that contained plays, verses, and short novels which have survived in three volumes: Volume the First, Volume the Second, and Volume the Third (Aronson). In a transition to a more realistic and mature style of writing, Austen began to work on her first novel, Elinor and Marianne, later retitled Sense and Sensibility, in 1795, published in 1811. In 1797, she wrote the first draft of her second novel, First Impressions, later retitled Pride and Prejudice and published in 1813. Mansfield Park soon followed, published in 1814, and then Emma, published in 1815. Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were both published posthumously in1818. All of her novels were published anonymously and her identity was only revealed in the obituary that announced her death (Telgen).
Although Pride and...