2Jane Austen Jane Austen (1775 - 1817) Category: English Literature Born: December 16, 1775 Steventon, Hampshire, England Died: July 18, 1817 Winchester, Hampshire, England
3An Austen Chronology1775 Jane Austen born at village of Steventon, England, to George and Cassandra Austen.With her sister, Cassandra, Austen attends the Abbey School in Reading, England.Writes her juvenilia.Writes original versions of Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, and Pride and Prejudice.1797 "First Impressions" (original version of Pride and Prejudice) rejected by a London publisher.1801 Father retires and moves to Bath with his wife and daughters.1803 Susan (original version of Northanger Abbey) is bought by a publisher but never issued.1804 Austen begins, and quickly abandons, "The Watsons."1805 Death of father, George.1808 Moves to Southampton with mother and sister.Lives with her mother and sister in a small house provided by her wealthy brother Edward in the village of Chawton, in southern England. Begins revising original versions of Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice.1811 Sense and Sensibility published.1813 Pride and Prejudice published.1814 Mansfield Park published. Austen begins work on Emma.1816 Emma is published and is dedicated to the Prince Regent (future George IV) at his request. Austen completes Persuasion.1817 Composes the fragment "Sanditon"; abandons it because of incapacitating illness. Austen is moved to Winchester for medical care in May and dies there on 18 July. Buried in Winchester Cathedral on 24 July.1818 Northanger Abbey and Persuasion published jointly in a four-volume edition, with a biographical preface of Austen by her brother Henry.
4Education and Background Jane Austen was the fifth child in a family of seven. She had one sister, Cassandra. Jane's first home was Steventon Rectory in North Hampshire where her father had the living of Deane Parish. Money was not in abundance and Jane's father supplemented his income with teaching. It was a lively and warm family who entertained each other with reading aloud and play acting. In 1800, Jane's father decided to retire and in 1801 moved with Mrs Austen, Jane and Cassandra to Bath.After the death of Jane's father in 1805, Mrs Austen, Cassandra and Jane moved again - this time to Southampton. In 1809, they moved back to Hampshire, this time to Chawton.Jane was encouraged to read widely at home, including the novels of Fielding, Richardson and Johnson. At age seven she first attended school with her older sister Cassandra. Between approximately the two girls attended schools in Oxford, Southampton and Reading. Jane could read French and some Italian, play the piano, sing and dance.
5LIFE STORIES (1)10/30/1811Jane Austen: "If I am a wild beast I cannot help it" On this day in 1811, Jane Austen's first novel, Sense and Sensibility, was published. Early reviewers found it to be "a genteel, well-written novel" as far as "domestic literature" went, and "just long enough to interest without fatiguing." Virginia Woolf would take a different view: "Sometimes it seems as if her creatures were born merely to give Jane Austen the supreme delight of slicing their heads off."
6LIFE STORIES (2)3/29/1815Jane Austen, Emma, and the Prince of Wales On this day in 1815, Jane Austen completed Emma, her fourth novel in five years, and the last to appear in her lifetime. That it appeared with a dedication to the Prince Regent, a person whose debauched lifestyle Austen had condemned, and a type she would normally satirize, is a story that might itself have stepped from one of her books.
7LIFE STORIES (3)7/18/1817Jane Austen Remaindered On this day in 1817, Jane Austen died, at the age of forty-one. She had been increasingly ill over the previous year and a half, probably from a hormonal disorder like Addison's Disease. Austen's devoted older sister, Cassandra, inherited all the author's papers, from which she expurgated some but not all of Jane's enduring wit and one-liners.
8PORTRAITS OF JANE AUSTEN There have been only two authentic surviving portraits of Jane Austen, both by her sister Cassandra, one of which is a back view! The other is a rather disappointing pen and wash drawing made about The main picture of Jane Austen presented on the first page is a much more aesthetically pleasing adaptation of the same portrait, but should be viewed with caution, since it is not the original (for a more sentimentalized Victorian version of this portrait, see this image, and for an even sillier version of the portrait, in which poor Jane has a rather pained expression and is decked out in cloth-of-gold or something, see this image -- for some strange reason, it is this last picture which has been frequently used to illustrate popular media articles on Jane Austen).
9Jane Austen's Art (I) Feminism in Jane Austen(1) Jane Austen a feminist? That has not been the traditional view,but once the question has been asked, it is not hard to see some feminist tendencies.Of course, Jane Austen is not a simple ideologue -- when a character in a Jane Austen novel makes a broad statement that seems to stand up for women in general, this is actually usually done by an unsympathetic character and is not meant to be taken seriously. In Pride and Prejudice the main example is Caroline Bingley's statement to Darcy that "Eliza Bennet is one of those young ladies who seek to recommend themselves to the other sex by undervaluing their own, and with many men, I dare say, it succeeds. But, in my opinion, it is a paltry device, a very mean art." Here Caroline Bingley is "undervaluing" Elizabeth, and Darcy sees through her easily.
10Jane Austen's Art (I) Feminism in Jane Austen(2) On the other hand, however, Jane Austen presents a rather cool and objective view of the limited options open to women (in Pride and Prejudice this is done through the character Charlotte Lucas).And it has been pointed out that Jane Austen makes an implicit statement by simply disregarding certain strictures of her era that may not be obvious to modern readers. For example most of Jane Austen's heroines don't have anyone whom they can confide in, or whose advice they can rely on, about certain delicate matters. Thus they must make their own decisions more or less independently (for example, Elizabeth Bennet doesn't reveal to Jane, her sister and closest confidante, her changed feelings about Darcy until he has actually proposed again, and she has accepted).
11Jane Austen's Art (II) Marriage and the Alternatives: The Status of Women(1) In Jane Austen’s time, there was no real way for young women of the "genteel" classes to strike out on their own or be independent. Professions, the universities, politics, etc. were not open to women. Few occupations were open to them -- and those few that were (such as being a governess, i.e. a live-in teacher for the daughters or young children of a family) were not highly respected, and did not generally pay well or have very good working conditions.Therefore most "genteel" women could not get money except by marrying for it or inheriting it. Only a rather small number of women were what could be called professionals, who though their own efforts earned an income sufficient to make themselves independent, or had a recognized career.
12Jane Austen's Art (II) Marriage and the Alternatives: The Status of Women(2) Therefore, a woman who did not marry could generally only look forward to living with her relatives as a `dependant' (more or less Jane Austen's situation), so that marriage is pretty much the only way of ever getting out from under the parental roof -- unless, of course, her family could not support her, in which case she could face the unpleasant necessity of going to live with employers as a ‘dependant' governess or teacher, or hired "lady's companion".Given all this, some women were willing to marry just because marriage was the only allowed route to financial security, or to escape an uncongenial family situation.
13Notes on Jane Austen's relationship to the society of her day(1) The dramatic power of her characters led some nineteenth-century writers, including Macaulay and George Lewes, to regard her as no less than a "prose Shakespeare”. She transformed the eighteenth-century novel--which could be a clumsy and primitive performance--into a work of art. She invented her own special mode of fiction, the domestic comedy of middle-class manners, a dramatic, realistic account of the quiet backwaters of everyday life for the country families of Regency England from the late 1790s untilThe novels communicate a profound sense of the movement in English history--when the old Georgian world of the eighteenth century was being carried uneasily and reluctantly into the new world of Regency England, the Augustan world into the romantic.
14Notes on Jane Austen's relationship to the society of her day(2) Historically, the novels are a challenge to the idea of society as a civilizing force and to the image of man's fulfillment as an enlightened social being. They question the driving optimism of the period--that this, in the development of English society, was triumphantly the Age of Improvement. Improvement was the leading spirit of Regency England, its self-awarded palm. Certainly it was unequaled as a period of economic improvement, in the wake of the industrial revolution. The wartime economy accelerated this new prosperity. Alongside this material improvement there was an air of self-conscious, self-congratulatory improvement in manners, in religious zeal, in morality, in the popularization of science, philosophy, and the arts. It was the age of encyclopedias, displaying the scope and categories of human knowledge in digestible form. Books and essays paraded "Improvement" in their titles.
15Notes on Jane Austen's relationship to the society of her day(3) Ironically, one of Jane Austen's major achievements in the novels is to have captured the total illusion of the gentry's vision, the experience of living in privileged isolation, of being party to a privileged outlook, of belonging to a privileged community, whose distresses, such as they are, are private, mild, and genteel. Each of the homes and neighborhoods is its own "little social commonwealth," a microcosm, the center of a minute universe. The irony is implicit. The miniature issues of these little worlds, so realistic, so much the center of the stage, vivid and magnified to the point of surrealism, imply another, larger world beyond "The depression and misery" of the common people was a theme she could never handle directly; her way was to treat it by silent implication. It is with such momentary and glancing allusions that Jane Austen reminds the reader of England unseen, which lies beyond the blinkered social focus of the gentry's vision. But these are pinpoints of light. There was another "depression and misery" that she knew more intimately, and cold command fully and creatively. This was the private, personal history of women like herself, trapped and stifled within the confines of a hothouse society, recognizing its brittleness and artificiality, but with no other world to exist in.
16Notes on Jane Austen's relationship to the society of her day(4)
17Jane Austen’s limitation Jane Austen limited her subject-matter in a number of ways in her six novels. Many of these limitations are due to her artistic integrity in not describing what she herself was not personally familiar with (or in avoiding clichéd plot devices common in the literature of her day).She never handles the (conventionally masculine) topic of politics.She never uses servants, small tradesmen, cottagers, etc. as more than purely incidental characters. Conversely, she does not describe the high nobility, and she does not describe London high society.She confines herself to the general territory that she herself has visited and is familiar with.In her novels there is no violence and no crime.She never uses certain hackneyed plot devices then common, such as mistaken identities, doubtful and/or aristocratic parentage, and hidden-then-rediscovered wills.
18SELECTED WORKS BY THIS AUTHOR Emma fictionJane Austen's Letters lettersPride and Prejudice fictionSense and Sensibility fictionFIND BOOKS BY JANE AUSTEN AT: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, chapters.indigo.ca
19Jane Austen‘s Novels and Publishing Dates Sense and Sensibility（1811）“Elinor and Marianne”(1796)Pride and Prejudice（1813）“First Impression” (1795)Mansfield Park《曼斯菲尔德庄园》（1814）Emma 《爱玛》（1816）Northanger Abbey《诺桑觉寺》（1818）Persuasion 《 劝导》 （1818）“Lady Susan”(1798 or 1799)
20Pride and Prejudice The Chinese Version of Our Text (.doc) Published in 1813, is Jane's Austen's earliest work, and in some senses also one of her most mature works. Austen began writing the novel in 1796 at the age of twenty-one, under the title First Impressions. The original version of the novel was probably in the form of an exchange of letters. Austen's father had offered he manuscript for publication in 1797, but the publishing company refused to even consider it. Shortly after completing First Impressions, Austen began writing Sense and Sensibility, which was not published until She also wrote some minor works during that time, which were later expanded into full novels. Between 1810 and 1812 Pride and Prejudice was rewritten for publication. While the original ideas of the novel come from a girl of 21, the final version has the literary and thematic maturity of a thirty-five year old woman who has spent years painstakingly drafting and revising, as is the pattern with all of Austen's works. Pride and Prejudice is usually considered to be the most popular of Austen's novels.The Chinese Version of Our Text (.doc)
21Themes of pride and prejudice Women and Marriage: Austen is critical of the gender injustices present in 19th century English society. The novel demonstrates how money such as Charlotte need to marry men they are not in love with simply in order to gain financial security. The entailment of the Longbourn estate is an extreme hardship on the Bennet family, and is quite obviously unjust. The entailment of Mr. Bennet's estate leaves his daughters in a poor financial situation which both requires them to marry and makes it more difficult to marry well. Clearly, Austen believes that woman are at least as intelligent and capable as men, and considers their inferior status in society to be unjust. She herself went against convention by remaining single and earning a living through her novels. In her personal letters Austen advises friends only to marry for love. Through the plot of the novel it is clear that Austen wants to show how Elizabeth is able to be happy by refusing to marry for financial purposes and only marrying a man whom she truly loves and esteems.
22Her Works on TV Pride and Prejudice Persuasion Northanger Abbey Emma Mansfield Park
23Jane Austen QuotesIn nine cases out of ten, a woman had better show more affection than she feels.With men he can be rational and unaffected, but when he has ladies to please, every feature works.For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.There is safety in reserve, but no attraction. One cannot love a reserved person.Human nature is so well disposed towards those who are in interesting situations, that a young person, who either marries or dies, is sure of being kindly spoken of.An engaged woman is always more agreeable than a disengaged. She is satisfied with herself. Her cares are over, and she feels that she may exert all her powers of pleasing without suspicion. All is safe with a lady engaged; no harm can be done.
25Jane Austen Character Quiz(1) 1) You are out in the countryside. What are you most likely to be doing? a] Walking, running and skipping b] Chasing the local ‘talent.’ c] Chatting with your best friend d] Falling over.2) Somebody ‘slights’ you or your family. What do you do? a] Nobody would slight you. You’re far too well respected. b] Run out of the room. c] Give a sharp, witty, reply. d] Ignore it, like you do everything else.3) You are rejected by the one you love. What do you do? a] Hope that he will come back and return your love. b] Spend weeks crying and mourning c] Set about changing his mind - you’re good at things like that. d] Move on to someone else straight away.4) You receive unwanted attentions from a man - what is your reaction? a] No attentions are unwanted in your case - you revel in it. b] Refuse him and try to set him up with your best friend. c] Ignore him then laugh at him behind his back. d]Tell him he’s the worst man you’ve ever known.
26Jane Austen Character Quiz(2) 5) What are your favourite past times? a] Matchmaking your friends and also a little music and painting.. b]Dancing and flirting. c]Reading and walking d] Playing the piano and reading poetry.6) What type of man do you go for? a] Tall, dark and proud. b] Well respected and dependable. c] Intelligent, good-humoured and respected. d] Any that happens to come along.7) Who are you closest to? a] Your mother. b] A sister or a friend. c] No one really - you’re too busy having fun. d] Your father.8) You find out that someone close to you is going to be married - what do you think? a]She could do better b] You are ecstatic and can’t stop saying how happy you are. c] Does that mean there will be a ball? d]You’ll be sorry to lose her but feel happy for her sake.
27Jane Austen Character Quiz(3) 9) What job appeals to you most? a] Running a party agency or a nightclub. b] Having your own column in a newspaper. c] Running a dating agency. d] A theatre critic or actress.10) What were you favourite subjects at school? a] English and Psychology. b] Art and music. c] Drama, music and English Lit. d] You had too much fun to be bothered with lessons.ANSWERS:1- a = L b= Y c= E d= M2 - a = E b = M c = Ld = Y3 - a = L b = M c = E d = Y4 - a = Y b = E c = M d = L5 - a = E b =Y c = L d = M6 - a = L b = M c = E d = Y7 - a = Mb = Lc = Yd = E8 - a = E b = M c = Y d = L9 - a = Y b = L c = E d = M10 - a = L b = E c = M d = Y
28Jane Austen Character Quiz(4) If you got mostly ‘L’ you are Elizabeth Bennet. You are spirited and quick-witted. You like nothing more than to be outdoors in the fresh air or at a lively ball, however, you are also able to enjoy your own company at home with a book. You are stubborn, but fair and loved by all those around you. You love to make jokes and laugh at nonsensical things,and tease people but you detest snobbery of any kind and won’t be patronised by people who think themselves superior to you.If you got mostly ‘Y’ you are Lydia Bennet The main object in your life is to have fun. You are a flirt and you love being in the centre of attention. You are happy, lively and good-humoured. You love dancing and going out, you hate having to stay at home in the evenings. You can get carried away and will please yourself at the expense of others. You don’t take into account other peoples’ feelings, as long as something makes you happy. You are spontanious and energentic, but can be a bit of a gossip.