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Jane Austen: Unveiling the Wit and Wisdom of a Literary Icon

Readers are familiar with Jane Austen as a well-known author of classical literature, particularly with her realism-focused novels. Young adults and adults alike continue to enjoy reading Jane Austen’s novels, and renowned filmmakers have adapted her works for television.

The Austen family welcomed Jane into the world on December 16, 1775, in the tiny town of Stevenson, in the southern British county of Hampshire. Only on April 5th, in church, was the girl baptized due to the severe winter. Given that Jane’s name means “God is merciful” or “God’s grace,” one could argue that the future writer’s parents decided her destiny.

The leader of the Austin family, a parish priest, and his wife managed the household, and they led a humble life. At St John’s College, the couple got together. Cassandra was descended from a noble family; her father served as All Souls College’s rector. Given that her older brother James received the entirety of their grandmother’s estate, Mrs. Lee’s dowry was rather small. Although his family fell into poverty, George also came from a wealthy family of merchants.

Infant mortality was high during the Enlightenment, a time when medicine had not yet advanced and diseases like cholera, tuberculosis, and the mumps were spreading. However, George Austin’s lover and all of their children miraculously survived.

As a result, the writer was raised in a large household that included six boys and one girl in addition to herself. Jane was born in the tenth month of pregnancy, making her the penultimate child. The neonates were initially cared for by their mother at home. After that, the mom turned them over to Elizabeth Littlewood, a neighbor, who looked after them until they were between 12 and 18 months old.

The elder James was interested in literature and began writing fiction stories at an early age, seeing his creative potential. However, destiny had other plans for the young man; when he grew older, James started working as a pastor in a nearby church. Because the Austins wished to keep George’s name quiet, nothing is known about him in history. The youngster was known to be retarded and never to have learnt to speak. However, the writer was devoted to George, and so she learnt the deaf alphabet for his sake.

The Austin family adopted Edward, who was raised in the affluent Knight household. Henry, an aspirational man, worked as a banker before enlisting in the holy orders. The sea was a major part of the lives of Francis and Charles, whereas Cassandra, their watercolor painter sister, never found contentment in her own existence. Despite being enrolled in numerous educational institutions, Jane and Cassandra were unable to get along with their headmistresses. Among other things, Jane died from typhus during one of her journeys to Southampton, and the Austin family never had enough money for schooling.

George assumed full responsibility for acting as a teacher after realizing fast that his kids would not obtain a good education in this manner. As a result, the future author and her sister gained more knowledge from their father’s insightful and well-read lectures than they did from their formal education. The daughters developed an early appreciation for the writings of writers such as Shakespeare, Hume, Richardson, and others because of the man’s emphasis on literature. Following their readings, they discussed literature, argued, and shared their thoughts with one another while retelling the works from memory.

Books

Goethe once stated: “A person with innate talent experiences his greatest happiness when he uses this talent.” Indeed, Jane made the most of her divine talent, as the fourteen-year-old girl developed an interest in writing. Then she penned “Love and Friendship,” her debut epistolary piece. She also authored an essay titled “Beautiful Cassandra” and a farce called “History of England” in her early years. The article playfully parodied the imaginative works of sentimentalists from the 18th century, such Rousseau and Chateaubriand, who believed that emotions should take precedence over logic.

She was therefore unsuited to read books in salons by socialite ladies that dealt with sweetheart love or unrequited love: When Jane Austen first appeared in literary history, she was associated with realism, which followed the rules by which life was shown in all of its usual characteristics—that is, without the need for needless metaphors or unduly pretentious turns of phrase.

She released the discordant novel Sense and Sensibility in 1811 under the inconsequential pen name Lady Jane. The story explores the complexities and mysteries of love between two sisters who are very different from one another: Eleanor is driven by reason, while Marianne Dashwood follows her heart. Thus, a certain discord arises between two human attributes in the reader’s mind.

Three years later, Jane’s “Pride and Prejudice” novel, which became a popular phrase throughout time, thrilled refined ladies and gentlemen. It’s interesting to remember that Austen started writing the book in 1795 (96). However, the publishers were unimpressed with the novel, and the manuscript languished on the shelf for roughly 15 years.

The publication of Austen’s second book was only made possible by Sense and Sensibility, the book that established the author’s reputation in the literary community. It is true that Jane nearly completely altered her initial work, First Impressions, before submitting it for publication because she had gained experience and changed her perspective on life over the years.

Mansfield Park, an educational novel, was released in 1814. A year later, Emma, a hilarious novel about a lonely young woman who tries her hardest to organize her friends’ and acquaintances’ personal affairs, was published by John Murray’s publishing business. Even Walter Scott, the master writer, was charmed by this tale.

Jane wrote the posthumously published domestic book Persuasion in 1816. The story follows the conceited and conceited Sir Walter, who is on the point of ruin as a result of his own foolishness. Among the many characters in this work, Walter’s daughter Anne Elliot, who is 27 years old, stands out because she is a lonely girl who defies the expectations of a Jane Austen book heroine.

Despite her youth, readers are presented with Anne as an intelligent, sophisticated, and—in society—old maid. Though she was infatuated with a young man, Anne rejected him out of concern for her future well-being, guided by the logic of reason.

When it comes to Jane Austen’s writing style, her skill as a psychologist is evident. Her works demonstrate her understanding of both ordinary issues and people’s souls. In addition, Jane was accustomed to adding a dash of sarcasm and irony to her compositions. Even though the Victorian and Enlightenment periods are already hundreds of years past, human vices like pride, lust, greed, hypocrisy, and laziness still exist.

Even in the period of opulent balls and intellectual salons, all of this was accurate. For instance, one may remember how Mrs. Bennet’s initial distaste for Darcy is quickly replaced by ecstatic sentiments upon learning that the young man is going to pop the question to her daughter (“Pride and Prejudice”). Readers of sentimental novels had established stereotypes, which Jane broke to bits.

Individual life

The English novelist’s private life is shrouded in mystery and intrigue. For instance, biographers are still in the dark about the Lady’s actual look. While some accounts portray her as a lovely young woman, others paint her as a chubby simpleton who was ridiculed by her brothers as a small girl by pulling her cheeks. There are also widely held beliefs on the girl’s personality: occasionally, she comes across as a prim and stubborn girl; other times, however, she is a charming and sympathetic woman with a gentle demeanor and a quiet voice. One can estimate Jane’s appearance based on Cassandra’s 1810 portrait.

Although the novelist gave the world beautiful tales of love, she was never happy herself. The year 1796 completely upended her existence. Ironically, Thomas Langlois Lefroy was a well-educated young Huguenot who came to visit his relatives who resided close by the Austins. The writer’s heart was won over by Thomas, and a brief passion turned into a brief romance that started as soon as it ended. Family lore has it that Lefroy’s aunt’s dissatisfaction caused the young people’s relationship to come to an abrupt stop. Contemporaries subsequently claimed that Persuasion had parallels to these occurrences, but Thomas once claimed to have loved Jane with a “childish love” and that the relationship held little significance for him.

However, Austin did not follow the logic of the arguments; instead, she became a sentimental girl who thought about her unfulfilled love every day of the week. This was because, as Eugene Onegin quoted Pushkin, “the less we love a woman, the easier it is for her to like us.” While the novelist struggled, Thomas managed his personal affairs with ease. He married Mary, a wealthy woman who gave birth to eight children, and went on to become the Supreme Judge of Ireland.

However, Harris Bigg, a young man, saw things quite differently: he loved Jane. The girl accepted the marriage proposal, but she was only married for a single day since Austin was not aided by time’s healing and she never forgot Thomas. As a result, the lady traded her future for an unreal past. Because the novelist did not have children, the girl was never able to feel like a loving wife and enjoy the blessings of motherhood. Jane sews and helps her mother around the house in her spare time from studying literature.

Demise

Adrenal insufficiency, often known as Addison’s disease, affected Jane Austen.

The clinical description states that although this condition can progress for years without symptoms and go undiagnosed, stressors or other illnesses might cause it to worsen. The patient exhibits decreased appetite, tetany, nausea, and weight loss.
At the age of 42, the author went away in the summer of 1817. The girl never recovered from her illness, even after coming to Winchester for treatment. The pieces “Sanditon,” “The Watsons,” and “Lady Susan” were not finished by Jane. “Northanger Abbey” was released as a posthumous book.

 

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