Jane Austen was born in Steventon, Hampshire on 16 December 1775. She was the seventh out of eight children.
Austen is best known for her six major novels – Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. Her work often critiqued the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. They also explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of a good social standing and financial security.
Austen died on 18 July 1817 at the age of 41. She was part way through a novel, eventually entitled Sanditon, but died before its completion.
Despite her death, Austen’s legacy continues, with her novels rarely out of publication. Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion and Emma are all included in the Top 50 Favourite Books of All Time. There have been over 60 film and TV adaptions of Austen’s work produced around the world.
“My idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.”
“Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything.”
“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
“What is right to be done cannot be done too soon.”
“One man’s style must not be the rule of another’s.”
“A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.”
“Give a girl an education and introduce her properly into the world, and ten to one but she has the means of settling well, without further expense to anybody.”
“One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.”
“The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require to much.”
“I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.”
“It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.”
“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.”