Archive for the ‘Jane Austen’ Category

Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775 as was second youngest child in her family; she was the seventh born to Cassandra and George Austen. Her family was not rich, but still made a respectable amount of money; her father was a clergyman. For one year, Jane and her sister, also named Cassandra, went to a boarding school similar to the boarding school described as Mrs. Goddard’s school in Emma. She did much of her learning at her own home, and learned things such as piano and how to draw. Jane became very acquainted with the literature and novels of her day. She was a fan of social events and visits to larger towns and places like London.

At the age of seventy, her father decided to retire to Bath, England. Bath is mentioned numerous times by a character in Emma, Mrs. Elton, whom Emma greatly dislikes suggests that Mr. Woodhouse take a trip to bath to help him relax. Jane Austen, like Emma in this example, also responded negatively to Bath:

Bath, England

“Ah! that’s a great pity; for I assure you, Miss Woodhouse, where the waters do agree, it is quite wonderful the relief they give. In my Bath life, I have seen such instances of it! And it is so cheerful a place, that it could not fail of being of use to Mr. Woodhouse’s spirits, which, I understand, are sometimes much depressed. And as to its recommendations to you, I fancy I need not take much pains to dwell on them. The advantages of Bath to the young are pretty generally understood. It would be a charming introduction for you, who have lived so secluded a life; and I could immediately secure you some of the best society in the place. A line from me would bring you a little host of acquaintance; and my particular friend, Mrs. Partridge, the lady I have always resided with when in Bath, would be most happy to shew you any attentions, and would be the very person for you to go into public with.” (Chapter 32)
Emma’s thought of going to Bath, was that the trip was “out of the question”.

Jane Austen wrote a total of six novels, and is most known for her novel Pride and Prejudice which was formerly titled First Impressions and was denied by the editor, without him even looking at it. Austen also dedicated the book Emma to George IV at his request, because he was a fan, even though she did not really like him. Jane Austen soon died on July 18, 1817 at the age of 41, because of Addison’s disease.


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Jane Austen had a few “lovers” in her life, although there is not too much evidence of any of them. One of these is now seen in the movie Becoming Jane, Thomas Lefroy. Lefroy could not afford to marry Jane Austen, or else he would have lost his large inheritance; they were only around twenty years old. Lefroy admitted a “boyish love” for Austen; he later became Chief Justice of Ireland. She met a man in Bath at the age of 27, who fell in love with her, and then sadly died before their next meeting. Harris Big-Wither, in Manytown, England, proposed to marry her and she accepted in 1802. The next day, she decided against it and left Bath. Like her sister Cassandra, Jane Austen never married.

Portrait of Thomas "Tom" Lefroy

Jane Austen wrote the following dialogue between Emma and Harriet about Emma not being married/in search of someone to marry. Emma states numerous times that she will never find anyone to marry.
The following is from Chapter 10:

Harriet Smith:
“But still, you will be an old maid! — and that’s so dreadful!”

Emma Woodhouse:
“Never mind, Harriet, I shall not be a poor old maid; and it is poverty only which makes celibacy contemptible to a generous public! A single woman, with a very narrow income, must be a ridiculous, disagreeable old maid! — the proper sport of boys and girls — but a single woman, of good fortune, is always respectable, and may be as sensible and pleasant as any body else. […]”

Harriet Smith:
“Dear me! but what shall you do? how shall you employ yourself when you grow old?”

Emma Woodhouse:
“If I know myself, Harriet, mine is an active, busy mind, with a great many independent resources; and I do not perceive why I should be more in want of employment at forty or fifty than one-and-twenty. Woman’s usual occupations of eye and hand and mind will be as open to me then as they are now; or with no important variation. If I draw less, I shall read more; if I give up music, I shall take to carpet-work. And as for objects of interest, objects for the affections, which is in truth the great point of inferiority, the want of which is really the great evil to be avoided in not marrying, I shall be very well off, with all the children of a sister I love so much, to care about. There will be enough of them, in all probability, to supply every sort of sensation that declining life can need. There will be enough for every hope and every fear; and though my attachment to none can equal that of a parent, it suits my ideas of comfort better than what is warmer and blinder. My nephews and nieces! — I shall often have a niece with me.”


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