Jane Austen

Portrait, {{Circa|1810}}{{Efn|The original is unsigned but was believed by the family to have been made by Austen's sister Cassandra and remained in the family until 1920 with a signed sketch by Cassandra. The original sketch, according to relatives who knew Jane Austen well, was not a good likeness.<ref>Kirkham (2005), 68–72.</ref>}} Jane Austen (; 16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique, and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen's plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favourable social standing and economic security. Her works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century literary realism. Her use of biting irony, along with her realism and social commentary, have earned her acclaim among critics and scholars.

With the publication of ''Sense and Sensibility'' (1811), ''Pride and Prejudice'' (1813), ''Mansfield Park'' (1814), and ''Emma'' (1816), she achieved modest success but only little fame in her lifetime since the books were published anonymously. She wrote two other novels—''Northanger Abbey'' and ''Persuasion'', both published posthumously in 1818—and began another, eventually titled ''Sanditon'', but died before its completion. She also left behind three volumes of juvenile writings in manuscript, the short epistolary novel ''Lady Susan'', and the unfinished novel ''The Watsons''.

Austen gained far more status after her death, and her six full-length novels have rarely been out of print. A significant transition in her posthumous reputation occurred in 1833, when her novels were republished in Richard Bentley's Standard Novels series, illustrated by Ferdinand Pickering, and sold as a set. They gradually gained wider acclaim and popular readership. In 1869, fifty-two years after her death, her nephew's publication of ''A Memoir of Jane Austen'' introduced a compelling version of her writing career and supposedly uneventful life to an eager audience.

Austen has inspired a large number of critical essays and literary anthologies. Her novels have inspired many films, from 1940's ''Pride and Prejudice'' to more recent productions like ''Sense and Sensibility'' (1995) and ''Love & Friendship'' (2016). Provided by Wikipedia
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