A – Jane Austen

Jane Austen is a female writer.  What more can I say about the statement that is not already implied?

Jane austen

Jane Austen wrote real, humanistic novels about women’s lives in the 18th Century.  Anyone who thinks the stories are simply fluffy romance novels are mistaken.

Women of that era, and perhaps some today, are dependent on a good marriage for their financial security.  She herself experienced the truth of this. She never married, and when her father died, her mother and sisters were dependent on contributions given them by two of her six brothers, until they could afford it no longer.

Jane Austen is really easy to read for 18th Century writing.  Her style is simple yet engaging, and her plots have elements of scandal, hope, and love.  The stories are structured around an observed behaviour of the classes, and show a keen understanding of human interactions.   The characters become victim to a flaw in their personalities, and then work to overcome it.

 

List of Works

Novels                                                                             Others

Sense and Sensibility (1811)                                     Lady Susan (1794, 1805)

Pride and Prejudice (1813)                                        The Watsons (unfinished)

Mansfield Park (1814)                                                Sanditon (Unfinished)

Emma (1815)                                                                 Collections of poems, prayers, and letters.

Northanger Abbey (1818, posthumous)                Juvenilia (Vol I-III)

Persuasion (1818, post humous)

Reviews

pride and prejudice

Pride and Prejudice is such a wonderful story about two people who overcome their flaws of pride and prejudice, and in so doing, discover a deep and meaningful love for each other.  This is one of my favourites, and probably the best one to introduce you to Jane Austen’s works if have never read any.

 

Mansfield park

Mansfield Park is an interesting story about a very poor young girl, Fanny, who is adopted by wealthy uncle and aunt.  Her character grows from meek and unworthy, to noble and respected.  The story is about self esteem, the realisations she has about her worthiness as a person, and how she carves her own path in her life.  She accepts she has risen from poverty and is too educated to return, but she will never have the opportunities, or the life of the Genteel either.

 

emma

 

Emma is a story about a busy body, slightly arrogant girl, who likes to think she knows best; especially in matters of matchmaking and love, even though she has no first hand experience.  The story that follows is hilarious as we watch Emma make mistake after mistake.  Of course, in the end she realises her errors and finds humility, and a love of her own.

 

Persuasion

Persuasion is by far my favourite of Jane Austen’s works.   Anne is a weak minded person who allows others to make decisions for her, even if it goes against what she believes or wants.  Basically she rejects a young lover’s proposal of marriage because he is beneath her and spends the rest of her life regretting her weakness. He in turn is appalled by her lack of conviction believes she couldn’t have loved him after all.   The two reconnect much later, there is awkwardness, rekindling of old feelings, suppression of feelings and a very British sense of showing a calm indifferent attitude on the exterior.


Why Read Jane Austen?

Jane Austen’s characters deal with universal human flaws.  They are stories about real experiences that a lot of women go through even today.  The events and the class system by which society is measured differs yes, but the emotional experiences and the growth of women is universal.

I challenge you to read her works and not see something of yourself reflected in the characters and their actions, whether you like them or not.  We’ve gotten used to seeing strong, charismatic heroes both male and female, but the real heroes to me are those that teach us how to grow ourselves. These types of unsung heros are found in stories like those written by Jane Austen.

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12 responses to “A – Jane Austen

    • Don’t we all? lol I have about 10 physical books in my to read pile, two of them are the 1st of 7+book series’, not to mention what I have on the kindle or on my wish list 😉 Thanks for the well wishes Jamie, Good luck to you as well xxx

  1. I’m a huge Austen fan and Persuasion is also my most favorite! P & P is my second favorite. But really I love all her books.
    I belong to JASNA and an Austen book club and have so much fun learning about Jane and what her world was like.
    Great post, thanks for sharing.

  2. Absolutely love Jane!! I’ve only read Pride and Prejudice and I’ve started Sense and Sensibility. But I have most of the stories in TV version and absolutely love them.

    I totally agree with you that she is the most aspiring author!

    • Sense and sensibility is the only one I haven’t read 🙂 It’s on my list for this year though.

      Nothing can beat a bit of Colin Firth in the TV version of P&P.;-) x

      • Haha, I haven’t seen that version. Only the one with Keira Knightley in it. But I do intend to see the Colin Firth one.
        If you like Austen you’ll like North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. She is amazing.

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