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Jane Austen

Monday February 2, 2015 by Guest Blogger

All of Jane's works were published anonymously.

 

Well it’s February already and the girls in the office are getting a BIT soppy and pathetic about Valentines Day so it seems appropriate in a way that ‘romantic’ novelist Jane Austen is the second person to feature in our series of remarkable Britons.

But was she really as ‘romantic’ as all that? Or is Jane more about social commentary than heaving bosoms, cute girls, dashing blokes and grumpy, drunken old lords!

Clearly, her superb plots highlighting the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security make her one of the most widely read writers in English literature. But for me, her humanity, charm, humour and insight are what make her one of the most loved.

And that’s coming from a bloke!

So in homage, here are 20 great facts about the amazing Miss Austen:

Born in 1775 , she was mostly educated by her father and older brothers and wrote poems, stories and plays for their amusement!

She had 6 brothers and a much loved sister Cassandra (who, like Jane, died unmarried) who was her closest friend throughout her life.

Her brothers Charles and Frank served in the navy, both eventually rising to the rank of admiral…how strange.

Her father provided her with expensive paper and writing materials and life at home was apparently lived in "an open, amused, easy intellectual atmosphere".

She played the fortepiano, was an accomplished seamstress, liked socializing and meeting people and her brother Henry said that "Jane was fond of dancing, and excelled in it".

At 20, she met a man -Tom Lefroy - and obviously enjoyed his company. Their relationship is at the centre of the 2007 film Becoming Jane.

She completed the initial draft of Pride and Prejudice in August 1797 when she was only 21.

In 1800, Mr Austen unexpectedly moved the family to Bath where she was very unproductive as a writer & her dislike of Bath often comes through in her books.

In 1802, Mr Harris Bigg-Wither proposed and she accepted hoping to change her family’s fortunes, but realising she’d made a mistake she later withdrew her acceptance. 

1In 1809, Jane's brother Edward offered his mother and sisters the use of a large cottage in Chawton and here she was able to be very productive.

During this time Jane published 4 well-received novels. Sense and Sensibility appeared in 1811 to favourable reviews giving her some financial independence.

Pride and Prejudice (1813) and Mansfield Park (1814) were a great success with the public, getting good reviews and selling well.

Emma (1815) sold well but the new edition of Mansfield Park didn’t and this failure lost most of Emma’s profits. These were the last of Jane's novels published during her lifetime.

Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were both published posthumously in 1818.

When Jane became ill, she made light of her condition, describing it as rheumatism, but died in Winchester in 1817, at the age of 41.

All of her works were published anonymously. Sense and Sensibility, was simply 'By a Lady' while Pride and Prejudice, was 'By the Author of Sense and Sensibility’.

The BBC had a hit TV series with Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth. That’s the wet shirt in the lake one, yes.

In 1994, American literary critic Harold Bloom placed Jane among the greatest Western Writers of all time. 

In 2007, the article ‘Rejecting Jane’ (examining how she would do in publishing today), got worldwide attention when her work (submitted under a pseudonym) was rejected by numerous publishers.

Although she spent most of her life in the pretty county of Hampshire, and the Jane Austen's House Museum in the village of Chawton occupies the 18th-century house in which she spent the last eight years of her life, Bath’s Jane Austen Centre has a Permanent Exhibition and Tea Rooms celebrating their most famous resident and her time spent there. If you’re a massive fan then it’s a great place to get a real feel for her life. 

 

Prestige Apartments has serviced apartments and vacation rentals on offer in Bath (and nearby Bristol).  Why not book a Bath serviced apartment as your base and explore this delightful town with it’s regency architecture - you could even 'take the waters'.

Just get in touch with our friendly sales team and they’ll help you to choose your perfect serviced apartment for a romantic stay in Bath.   

Tel: 020 7704 6514 or email: sales@prestigeapartments.co.uk


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