Wednesday, 16 December 2009

On this day...

One of the most loved English novelists, Jane Austen, was born in 1775. For much of her childhood Austen was educated at home under the guidance of her father, who allowed her unrestricted access to his large and diverse library, as well as writing materials. Although she wrote numerous works from a young age, including 'Juvenilia' and epistolary novel 'Lady Susan', her published literary career did not start until the age of 35. Then followed a prolific six year period, in which she wrote the books that she is most famous for; 'Pride and Prejudice' and 'Sense and Sensibility' the two primary examples. After her death in 1817, two novels were published posthumously. 'Persuasion' and 'Northanger Abbey' incorporated a biographical note by Austen's brother, which named her as the author for he first time. Although by 1818 only 321 copies remained unsold, interest began to decline, and from 1820, Austen's novels were out of print for 12 years. Yet in 1833, the first collected edition of Austen's works were published and she has been continuously in print since. Austen is considered one of the few writers to be enjoyed by academics and the general public alike.

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