July 17, 2008

In Memoriam - Jane Austen

I discovered by looking at "On This Day" (http://www.reference.com/thisday/index.html?m=7&d=18) that today, July 18th, is the anniversary of Jane Austen's death in 1817. I followed a link from "On This Day" and found this information on her life at: http://www.reference.com/search?q=Jane%20Austen

Questions to be answered are below the text.

Austen, Jane, 1775-1817, English novelist. The daughter of a clergyman, she spent the first 25 years of her life at "Steventon," her father's Hampshire vicarage. Here her first novels, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Northanger Abbey, were written, although they were not published until much later. On her father's retirement in 1801, the family moved to Bath for several years and then to Southampton, settling finally at Chawton Cottage, near Alton, Hampshire, which was Jane's home for the rest of her life.

Northanger Abbey, a satire on the Gothic romance, was sold to a publisher for £10 in 1803, but as it was not published, was bought back by members of the family and was finally issued posthumously. The novels published in Austen's lifetime were Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), and Emma (1816). Persuasion was issued in 1818 with Northanger Abbey. The author's name did not appear on any of her title pages, and although her own friends knew of her authorship, she received little public recognition in her lifetime.

Jane Austen's novels are comedies of manners that depict the self-contained world of provincial ladies and gentlemen. Most of her works revolve around the delicate business of providing husbands for marriageable daughters. She is particularly noted for her vivid delineations and lively interplay of character, her superb sense of comic irony, and her moral firmness. She ridicules the silly, the affected, and the stupid, ranging in her satire from light portraiture in her early works to more scornful exposures in her later novels. Her writing was subjected to the most careful polishing. She was quite aware of her special excellences and limitations, comparing herself to a miniaturist. Today she is regarded as one of the great masters of the English novel. Her minor works include her Juvenilia, the novel Lady Susan, and the fragments The Watsons and Sanditon.

See her letters (ed. by R. W. Chapman, 2d ed. 1965); biographies by J. A. Hodge (1972), J. Halperin (1986), P. Honan (1988), V. G. Myer (1997), D. Nokes (1997), C. Tomalin (1997), and C. Shields (2001); studies by A. W. Litz (1965), F. W. Bradbook (1966), A. M. Duckworth (1971), K. Kroeber (1971), F. B. Pinion (1973), S. M. Tave (1973), and C. Johnson (1988).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia Copyright © 2004, Columbia University Press.Licensed from Columbia University Press

Have you read Jane Austen? Which is your favorite book? What do you think of the movies made of her books? And her life?

~Anna Kathryn


windycindy said...

Hi, I loved "Pride and Prejudice" in book and movie form. Colin Firth playing the lead didn't hurt anything! I have not seen any of the film adaptations of her life as of yet. Thanks, Cindi

Jane said...

My favorite is Persuasion. The book and the adaptations were great. I like the Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle version of Pride and Prejudice. Emma Thompson's screen adaptation of Sense and Sensibility is one of my favorites.

DawnM said...

I love both Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbeyt...Sometimes I think I prefer one and sometimes the other. I wasn't as keen on Persuasion or Sense & Sensibility.
It's been a long time since I saw any of the TV adaptations. I think I preferred the Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice despite its obvious flaws simply because it worked well as a piece of television drama.

peggy said...

good morning. Pride and Presuasion
and Emma. i enjoy the movies.
I could set and watch them all day.

Crystal said...

I have never been a big fan of English regency romances. I have read several regency authors (my favorite was probably Laura London), and of course, have read Pride and Prejudice. My favorite memory of the book was sighing over Darcy who was described as such a good dancer. I haven't seen the movies, however. I might actually like them better since the pacing of Austen's novels was a little slow for me.

I did, however, run across some interesting information when I browsed some in a Jane Austen for Dummies book (who knew they had such a book!!) My favorite parts of the Dummies book were about the role of dancing in regency times. I am a ballroom dancer, so it made me sigh with envy to hear how dancing was taught in the schools and by special "dance masters" who visited the homes of the wealthy. I did find it noteworthy, however, that even then, when it sounded like everybody danced, there was still a shortage of men and women dancing with women was often allowed in this situation. Even way back then they had a problem getting enough men!


Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Thanks for your comments. Crystal's comments reminded me that I actually did a paper on one of the dancing scenes for my Dance Appreciation class for my degree. I'll look that paper over and see if it's worth putting up on my blog. I had to discribe the music playing and the dance steps, as well as a bit about the movie.

-Anna Kathryn

Elaine Cantrell said...

Pride and Prejudice without a doubt. I loved the movie too.

Elaine Cantrell

Cheri2628 said...

Pride and Prejudice is my favorite, and Colin Firth will forever be Mr. Darcy in my mind!

Cherie J said...

I love Jane Austen's books. I had not realized today was the anniversary of her death. My favorite of her books has got to be Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are such a fascinating pair. The tension between them is so palpable. I have seen many of the film adaptations and have really loved most of them. My favorite has got to be the Pride and Prejudice version starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. I have not seen any of her life yet.

LuAnn said...

I loved the book "Pride and Prejudice." I've noticed that it's often mentioned in films and other books.
Thanks for this link. I have a friend who is a big Jane Austen fan and I'll send it to her.

Kimberly B. said...

Count me in as another vote for Pride and Prejudice. It's just such a timeless story! And yeah, the movie's great, too!

Ruth C. said...

I've read Pride and Prejudice and simply loved the movie - and yes, Colin Firth is my idea of the perfect Mr. Darcy.

I have her book, Emma, but have not read it yet, although I have seen the movie and enjoyed it.

I have a hardcover book on the life of Jane Austin and it has some interesting information in it.

Drea said...

Oh my, please don't stone me...I have never read Jane Austen...

*slinking back to corner*

CrystalGB said...

My favorite is Pride and Prejudice.