Jane Austen was born in the Hampshire village of Steventon.
Her father was a scholar who encouraged the love of learning in his children. Jane Austen’s lively and affectionate family circle provided a stimulating context for her writing
The years after 1811 seem to have been the most rewarding of her life. She had the satisfaction of seeing her work in print and well reviewed and of knowing that the novels were widely read.
She died on July 18, and six days later she was buried in Winchester Cathedral (“Jane Austen”
Sense and Sensibility (1811)
Pride and Prejudice (1813)
Mansfield Park (1814)
Northanger Abbey (published posthumously 1817)
Persuasion (published posthumously
In her novels, she made fun of picaresque and epistolary novels, whose aim was to make people cry (Urgan 885).
She was determined to consider people, whom she knew closely from her close environment, with truths and without imaginary (Urgan 886)
Her topics were generally about middle class families. In her books, everybody is gentry and lives on with their incomes, neither too wealty nor too poor. She only considered the silent and calm life of the middle class (Urgan 887)
*She paid attention to be depend on classicism rules (Urgan 889).
*In her novels, the world of woman is dominant since she took care of observing people whom she knew closely (Urgan 891)
*In novels, money has an important place, and she always informed the readers about the financial situations of characters (Urgan 893-94).
She showed England perfectly while other authors criticized her in their works, so in her novels none of the characters uprised against the political system or social status (Urgan 889).
Dialogues are very important in her novels
Maybe she was the first novelist who thought novel as a literary work rather than as an entertainment tool ( Urgan 902).
In her six novels, the subject is marriage, and they finish with marriage (Urgan 892).
Her language is simple which is suitable for grammer and classicism rules (Urgan 898).
She didn’t mention about the most important matters of the history of Europe such as
Industry Revolution, French Revolution and
Napolean Wars (Urgan 888).
In her novels, the passion of love doesn’t seen, so there is no “love stage” in her novels (Urgan
*She didn’t mention about the desire of revenge, jealousy, mental instability, ambition, merciless of fate and grief of death, and she wasn’t interested in moral and religious matters (Urgan 895-96).
*Her language didn’t include image which is used to make the novel or story more vivid (Urgan 898).
*Deep philosophy of life is conspicuously absent.
*There are no adventures to thrill, no violent passions to ruffle, no sensations to tickle and tease.
*Jane Austen’s first important achievement is to bring English dramatic plots to the English novel.
*Austen has given us a multitude of characters.
All of them are common place such as we meet everybody.
*But these characters are all perfectly discriminated from each other as if they were the most eccentric of human beings.
*The plots are contrived and executed with consummate skill. There are no digressions and no loose ends are left dangling.
*Her style is balanced, even epigrammatic.
*One of her important preoccupations is the theme of self-education.
*Her pratogonists are often self-deceived.
*Austen represents feminization of the English novel.
*She draws her men as they appear to women and, not to men.
*Her novels lack of masculinity. So it imposes a serious limitation on her art as a novelist.
*Jane Austen has often been called as a pure novelist for her art is only for art’s sake and is a source of great aesthetic pleasure on account of its artistic exquisiteness.
*Her novels can be considered as broad allegories.
*Her most important contribution to the
English novel is her ironic world view. The view lies in the recognition of the fact that man is confronted with the choice of two things that are mutually exclusive .
*Jane Austen projects this ironic world view practically in all of her novels.
Thoughts of Some Authors About Jane Austen
According to David Daiches, she was the only novelist of stature who was in a sense a Marxist before Marx (Urgan 894).
According to Walter Scott, although she was so concentrated on the most ordinary matters of the daily life , and she didn’t tell extraordinary matters that she achieved to attract the readers’ attentions (Urgan 903).
According to Henry James, she was instinctive and unconcious author (Urgan 902).
Wirginia Woolf says that If Jane Austen hadn’t died in 42 years old, she could have reflected not only people’s outer worlds but also their inner worlds, and she might have been the pioneer of Henry James and Marcel Proust
According to Charlotte Bronte, there is a
Chinese Fidelity, a miniature delicacy in her painting, and this only reflects “the surface” of the life of middle class. In her novels, there isn’t emotion, warmth, excitement and depth. She only knows to observe not feel ( Urgan 945).
A poet Elizabeth Barret Browning says that her admiration for her is limited, and she adds that her novel characters are insipid, and the area is rather restricted.
She concludes her sentences as the following “ Her novels are perfect as they go; only they don’t go very far (Urgan
AYGÜN KÖK / 212014
Urgan, Mina. İngiliz Edebiyat Tarihi. İstanbul. Yapı Kredi, 2008.
“Jane Austen.” Encyclopædia Britannica. n.d. Web. 2010. 06 Apr. 2010
“ Jane Austen’s Contribution to the English Novel” CSS Forum. n.d.
Web. 2010. 25 Sep. 2010