Jane Austen: A Glimpse of Her Past

-By Shivam Pathak
“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like regarding! – When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library”.
These are the words of an eminent novelist, Jane Austen from her novel Pride and Prejudice, which is one of the best known works of her life so far in
literature. On 16th of December Jane Austen was born in Steventon,Hampshire in the house of George Austen and Cassandra Austen. Jane had in total seven siblings with whom she was on good terms.

Due to some problems Jane was educated at home. Austen had unfettered access to her father’s library along with that of a family friend’s (Warren Hastings) library. She loved reading novels, but most oftenly she read her own compositions aloud to her family in the evenings. The environment of Austen’s home contributed a lot in order to shape her life as a writer. Gradually when Jane changed from a child into an adult, she became mostly home-centered. She wrote her novels only in the intervals permitted from the important domestic duties of a devoted daughter, sister, and aunt.

Austen achieved success as a published writer after the publications of her novels like-Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Emma. A significant change in her career occurred in the year 1833, when her novels were republished in Richard Bentley’s Standard Novels series. Jane’s novels were known for critiques and comments upon the British social classes. Austen’s plots were often associated to the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favorable social and economic status in the society.

On 18th July, 1817 Jane Austen breathed her last. Her mysterious death is still a topic of discussion. Some scholars believe that she died due to cancer or tuberculosis. In 1869 Austen’s nephew, James Edward Austen Leigh, published “A Memoir of Jane Austen” in order to give an introduction of Jane Austen’s compelling account of life. Following this he published a second edition in 1871, which included Jane’s unpublished writings.

Therefore, Jane Austen’s writings gave English literature new heights. Austen’s life and novels are both inspirational for every writer as well as
every reader throughout the world.