This July 18th marks the 205th anniversary of the death of English writer Jane Austen, from “Pride and Prejudice”. She was one of the first women to be able to publish a book — at a time when only men had that possibility. Besides, she did have a forbidden love. AND like the heroines of her books, she refused to marry without affection.
Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775, the daughter of a reverend, into a family of seven, mostly male, siblings. In 1783, aged 8, Jane and her sister Cassandra were sent to study at a boarding school. On her return, her father fueled Jane’s interest in writing. In 1787, she already kept her works (stories and poems) in notebooks.
In 1789, Jane wrote the comedy “Love and Friendship” and began to take the craft seriously. Upon returning from boarding school, Jane wrote “First Impressions.” Little did she know that this job would become “Pride and Prejudice”. The first draft was completed sometime in 1799 (published in 1813, it was an instant success).
According to his biography on the website janeausten.org, in December 1795, a nephew of close neighbors began making several visits to his home. His name was Tom Lefroy, a young man studying in London to be a lawyer. Jane and Tom started spending a lot of time with each other and this was noticed by both families. But the boy’s family didn’t approve of the relationship, kept Tom away from Jane — and she would never see their love again for the rest of her life.
In 1802, Jane receives her only marriage proposal from Harris Bigg-Wither, a childhood friend. She accepts… and returns the next day. In a letter to her niece a few years later, she advises her not to marry without affection, like her heroines who did not marry for money or power, but for love.
In 1803, Brother Henry visited a London publishing house called Benjamin Crosby to help publish Jane’s first novel. But it wasn’t until 1811 that this happened, with the help of his brother, who acted as Jane’s literary agent — with “Sense and Sensibility”, a success with a first edition sold out in 1813.
In early 1816, Jane became ill, but did not stop writing. Until the simple act of walking, at age 41, became an arduous task and the energies ran out. On July 18, 1817, Jane Austen died in Winchester. And she left a passionate work. Check out!
- First, a tip: do you prefer to read virtually? Then subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, Amazon’s service that brings together more than one million e-books. It’s free for the first month and costs BRL 19.90 after the promotion.
Pride and Prejudice (hardcover) – Martin Claret
Price: BRL 35.14*
This is Jane Austen’s most famous book, with a series of unforgettable characters. The story revolves around Elizabeth Bennett and her aristocratic suitor, Mr. Darcy. The book balances comedy with drama, meticulous observation of human attitudes and refined irony.
Sense and Sensibility (hardcover) – Via Reading
Price: BRL 43.92*
After their father’s death, the Dashwoods sisters are forced to move to a simple and distant house. Elinor, rational and logical, and Marianne, sensitive and romantic, have to deal with unfair expectations of happiness because they don’t have a fortune and don’t have good relationships in society.
Persuasion (Paperback Edition) – Zahar Classics
Price: from BRL 20.49*
Anne Elliott is a young woman from a distinguished family who falls in love with a humble naval officer. The author presents here her most adult heroine, in whose plot she focuses on lost love and the realization that time makes people change, but feelings remain the same.
Emma – Martin Claret
Price: BRL 42.46*
Emma Woodhouse has a unique personality and is capable of arousing love and hate in the reader at the same time. The book is a fine example of the wit and irony typical of Jane Austen’s writing, and is considered by many to be her most elaborate novel.
Mansfield Park – Principis
Price: BRL 18.47*
Frances Fanny Price is sent to live with her aunt and uncle. It’s a shocking change: from the big sister of many brothers, to the youngest in elegant Mansfield Park. And Fanny feels the weight of loneliness. Only her handsome and kind cousin Edmund can bring her out of her inner world.
Lady Susan and Other Stories (hardcover) – Martin Claret
Price: BRL 36.99*
The book brings together stories of Jane Austen’s so-called “youth” — works written or sketched when the author was still a teenager. There are 11 stories from this phase of the writer published in this book. Besides them, it includes two unfinished texts, written when already more mature: “Os Watsons” and “Sanditon”.
Northanger Abbey – Tricaju
Price: BRL 18.49*
Catherine Morland, 17, is preparing to become a hero. Romantic excess and dark exaggeration fuel the young woman’s imagination as she visits an ancient abbey, where she believes terrible acts happen. The consequences, however, are by no means what one might expect.
Jane Austen Special Collection (5 books) – Principis
Price: BRL 58.97*
Jane Austen’s works depict complex characters from rural Georgian society and mark the rise of Romanticism. Want to dive into your universe? This box features “Pride and Prejudice”, “Persuasion”, “Sense and Sensibility”, “Northanger Abbey” and “Emma”.
*Prices and listing were checked July 14, 2022 to update this story. It may be that they vary over time.
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