Let’s celebrate one of the most widely read writers in English literature — Happy Birthday Jane Austen! On December 16th, 1775, Austen was born to a large family with 6 brothers and 1 sister. Typical of child-rearing at the time, Jane was sent along with her sister and closest friend Cassandra to Oxford for her education. After nearly dying of typhus, Jane was then taught at home. After 1786, at eleven years, Austen never lived much further than the boundaries of her own home and immediate family. She spent her life writing — and notably, especially for the time frame, Jane and her sister Cassandra never married.

It has been noted, historically, that Jane Austen is considered “famously scarce.” Little remains of what we know about Austen’s life, outside of some family letters and her published works themselves — among the most famous including Pride & Prejudice, Emma, Sense & Sensibility, and Persuasion. 

Jane Austen is revered, because her works give us a peek into a time frame from long ago, her stories focus on female heroines, and the stories are simple. There is a clear plot line and the hurdles the characters must overcome are clear, especially when their restrictions made it so difficult. Jane Austen and her story’s simplicity — these continue to enchant us, and will continue to do so.

Here’s a selection of Jane Austen books, including all of her published works, some exciting spin-off’s, and a couple biographies!

 

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