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Jane Austen - Author

About the Author

Jane Austen was born on 16 December 1775 at Steventon near Basingstoke, the seventh child of the rector of the parish. She lived with her family at Steventon until they moved to Bath when her father retired in 1801. After his death in 1805, she moved around with her mother; in 1809, they settled in Chawton, near Alton, Hampshire. Here she remained, except for a few visits to London, until in May 1817 she moved to Winchester to be near her doctor. There she died on 18 July 1817.
 
As a girl Jane Austen wrote stories, including burlesques of popular romances. Her works were only published after much revision, four novels being published in her lifetime. These are Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1816). Two other novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, were published posthumously in 1818 with a biographical notice by her brother, Henry Austen, the first formal announcement of her authorship. Persuasion was written in a race against failing health in 1815-16. She also left two earlier compositions, a short epistolary novel, Lady Susan, and an unfinished novel, The Watsons. At the time of her death, she was working on a new novel, Sanditon, a fragmentary draft of which survives.

 

Fellow novelist Katharine McMahon on Jane Austen...

I can't not choose her.  And whichever I've read last is always my favourite.  The nuance of emotion, the understanding of human nature revealed by Austen constantly delights me.  When I reread Sense and Sensibility recently, for the first time Elinor came across as quite prissy and destined to marry a rather spineless husband.  I wonder if that was intended?

Featured books by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice

Author: Jane Austen Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/12/2012

'No sooner had he made it clear to himself and his friends that she had hardly a good feature in her face, than he began to find it was rendered uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her dark eyes...'  The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.

ebook of the month
Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice

Author: Jane Austen Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/08/2007

ebook of the month

Other books by Jane Austen

Jane Austen's Lost Novel

Jane Austen's Lost Novel

Author: Jane Austen Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/10/2020

Until the appearance in 1870 of the Memoir written by her nephew J.E. Austen Leigh, very little was known about Jane Austen beyond what could be deduced from her major novels. This had been the family's choice. Despite this lack of information Deidre Le Faye records that following the acceptance of Jane's novel Susan for publication in 1803, according to family tradition, she had composed the plot of another full-length novel . This, Two Girls of Eighteen, never previously identified as Jane's, was published in 1806 but at some point apparently suppressed. Only two copies are known to exist - one in the Deutsch Nationalbibliothek and the one from which the present text has been transcribed, which came from a house that Jane knew and is mentioned by her in A Collection of Letters. Two Girls of Eighteen has a divided structure, involving two sisters, Charlotte and Julia, each of whom is given her own story, the one a Romance partly based on Richardson's Clarissa, the other a Gothic confection - both set in contemporary England. Jane appears to be testing in this the capabilities of such forms for expressing what she was trying to achieve. Through the character of Charlotte, who is attempting to write a novel, she deliberates at length the sort of thing that she herself might write. Her reflections on such subjects as medicine, law, the rights of women, etc take us below the glossy surface of the major novels and show us the complex web of thought that lies beneath.

Awesomely Austen - Illustrated and Retold: Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey

Awesomely Austen - Illustrated and Retold: Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey

Author: Jane Austen, Steven Butler Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2020

A fresh, funny and accessible retelling of Jane Austen's classic story, with witty black and white illustrations throughout. Catherine Morland loves nothing more than reading a romantic novel, but as one of ten children she doesn't have much time for reading or for romance. When she is seventeen, her wealthy neighbours invite her to spend the winter season with them in Bath - to experience balls, the theatre and other social delights for the first time. Catherine makes friends with the passionate Isabella, and dances with a handsome man called Henry, and it seems that all her dreams are coming true. But real life doesn't always play out like a novel, and Catherine will have to overcome many obstacles before she can find her happy ending ... Eglantine Ceulemans captures all of Austen's satire and wit, bringing her colourful casts to life with warm and funny black and white illustrations. Illustrated and retold editions are also available for: Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, and Mansfield Park. The perfect way to discover Austen for the first time, this bright and bold collection features some of the most inspiring and famous heroines in English literature. For readers aged eight and up.

Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey

Author: Jane Austen Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/09/2020

Northanger Abbey tells the story of a young girl, Catherine Morland who leaves her sheltered, rural home to enter the busy, sophisticated world of Bath in the late 1790s. Austen observes with insight and humour the interaction between Catherine and the various characters whom she meets there, and tracks her growing understanding of the world about her.

Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park

Author: Jane Austen Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/09/2020

Adultery is not a typical Jane Austen theme, but when it disturbs the relatively peaceful household at Mansfield Park, it has quite unexpected results. The diffident and much put-upon heroine Fanny Price has to struggle to cope with the results, re-examining her own feelings while enduring the cheerful amorality, old-fashioned indifference and priggish disapproval of those around her.

Persuasion

Persuasion

Author: Jane Austen Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/09/2020

What does persuasion mean - a firm belief, or the action of persuading someone to think something else? Anne Elliot is one of Austen's quietest heroines, but also one of the strongest and the most open to change. She lives at the time of the Napoleonic wars, a time of accident, adventure, the making of new fortunes and alliances.

Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility

Author: Jane Austen Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/09/2020

Sense and Sensibility is a delightful comedy of manners in which the sisters Elinor and Marianne represent these two qualities. Elinor's character is one of Augustan detachment, while Marianne, a fervent disciple of the Romantic Age, learns to curb her passionate nature in the interests of survival.

Emma

Emma

Author: Jane Austen Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/09/2020

Jane Austen teased readers with the idea of a 'heroine whom no one but myself will much like', but Emma is irresistible. 'Handsome, clever, and rich', Emma is also an 'imaginist', 'on fire with speculation and foresight'. She sees the signs of romance all around her, but thinks she will never be married.

Pride And Prejudice

Pride And Prejudice

Author: Jane Austen Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/08/2020

Emma (Legend Classics)

Emma (Legend Classics)

Author: Jane Austen Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/08/2020

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice

Author: Jane Austen Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/07/2020

Elizabeth Bennet is Austen's most liberated and appealing heroine, and Pride and Prejudice has remained over most of the past two centuries Austen's most popular novel. The story turns on the marriage prospects of the five daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, and especially on Elizabeth's prejudice against the proud and distant Fitzwilliam Darcy. Pride and Prejudice is a romantic comedy that has been read as conservative and feminist, reactionary and revolutionary, rooted in the time of its composition and deliberately timeless. Robert Irvine's introduction sets the novel in the context of the literary and intellectual history of the period, dealing with such crucial background issues as class relations in Britain, female exclusion from property and power, and the impact of the French Revolution. The introduction and annotations have been expanded and updated for the new edition, and a new appendix of Austen's juvenilia has been added. Key features New appendix with selections from Austen's juvenilia Introduction has been extensively revised and updated to reflect recent scholarship Annotations to the novel have been expanded and revised New cover!

Persuasion (Seasons Edition -- Summer)

Persuasion (Seasons Edition -- Summer)

Author: Jane Austen Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/07/2020

A fine exclusive edition of one of literature's most beloved stories. Featuring a laser-cut jacket on a textured book with foil stamping, all titles in this series will be first editions. No more than 10,000 copies will be printed, and each will be individually numbered from 1 to 10,000. * Now with a bonus bookmark! He had seen you indeed, before he came to Bath, and admired you, but without knowing it was you. So says my historian, at least. Is this true? Did he see you last summer or autumn, 'somewhere down in the west,' to use her own words, without knowing it to be you? At twenty-seven, Anne Elliot is no longer considered young enough for worthy romantic prospects. Eight years earlier, she had been persuaded by her friend Lady Russell to break off her engagement to Frederick Wentworth, a handsome naval captain with neither fortune nor rank. What transpires when they encounter each other again is movingly told in Jane Austen's last completed novel. A brilliant satire of vanity and pretension, Persuasion is, above all, a love story tinged with the heartache of missed opportunities. Persuasion (Seasons Edition--Summer) is one of four titles available in June 2020. The summer season will include Jane Eyre, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and The Wonderland Collection.

Love and Freindship

Love and Freindship

Author: Jane Austen Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/07/2020

HarperCollins is proud to present its incredible range of best-loved, essential classics. Jane Austen is remembered for her six masterpieces of the Regency era: from the heroines of Elizabeth Bennett and Emma Woodhouse to the villains of Mrs. Norris and John Willoughby. But these characters were not born overnight. They sprung from Austen's experiences as a young girl, and many versions of them can be found in the earliest of her writing: her Juvenilia. In the 'History of England', Austen discusses the great kings of England; in 'Lady Susan' (also published in Collins Classics Sanditon), she creates an anti-heroine who cheats her way through high society; and in 'Love and Freindship', a woman looks back on her extremely unfortunate life. Writing on the cusp of literary greatness, Love and Freindship offers a fascinating - and often surprising - insight into a young Jane Austen.

Jane Austen Children's Stories (Easy Classics)

Jane Austen Children's Stories (Easy Classics)

Author: Jane Austen Format: Mixed media product Release Date: 16/07/2020

From the gardens of Pemberley to the spooky halls of Northanger Abbey, join some of literature's most iconic heroines on their path to self-discovery and true love. An adaptation of Jane Austen's famous stories, illustrated to introduce children aged 7+ to the classics. An adaptation of Austen's famous novels, plus her rarely published novella Love and Friendship. A perfect introduction to the works of Jane Austen and classic literature for ages 7+. This beautifully illustrated eight-book collection includes Emma, Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Love & Friendship and a personal journal. About Sweet Cherry Easy Classics: Sweet Cherry Easy Classics adapts classic literature into stories for children, introducing these timeless tales to a new generation.

Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park

Author: Jane Austen Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/07/2020

At ten years old, Fanny is sent to live with rich relatives at Mansfield Park. Fanny doesn't fit in there but she is grateful for the friendship of her cousin, Edmund. Years later, the arrival of Henry and Mary Crawford upsets their quiet lives. With even Edmund acting differently, can Fanny stay true to herself? About Jane Austen Children's Stories (Easy Classics) From the gardens of Pemberley to the spooky halls of Northanger Abbey, join some of literature's most iconic heroines on their path to self-discovery and true love.An adaptation of Jane Austen's famous stories, illustrated to introduce children aged 7+ to the classics. About Sweet Cherry Easy Classics: Sweet Cherry Easy Classics adapts classic literature into stories for children, introducing these timeless tales to a new generation.

Love and Friendship

Love and Friendship

Author: Jane Austen Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/07/2020

Laura has lived a fairy-tale life until a stranger knocks on her cottage door. Then her adventures and her troubles begin. In dramatic letters, Laura tells of heartless fathers and runaway children, long-lost grandfathers and thieving cousins. Hers is a story of doomed love, fierce friendship, and the unexpected dangers of fainting. About Jane Austen Children's Stories:From the gardens of Pemberley to the spooky halls of Northanger Abbey, join some of literature's most iconic heroines on their path to self-discovery and true love.An adaptation of Jane Austen's famous stories, illustrated to introduce children aged 7+ to the classics. About Sweet Cherry Easy Classics: Sweet Cherry Easy Classics adapts classic literature into stories for children, introducing these timeless tales to a new generation.

Emma

Emma

Author: Jane Austen Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/07/2020

Clever and confident, Emma is positive that she can find the perfect husband for her new friend Harriet. But with one mistake after another, Emma realises that she might not understand people as well as she thought. In fact, she might not even understand her own heart.