House Austen


Jane Austen (1775-1817) Was an English novelist known for the only six novels she wrote, which interpret and criticise the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen’s plots explore the dependence of women on marriage in their aim of a favourable social standing and economic security. Jane Austen’s novels look closely at the ways that 18th century society worked and they draw attention to its flaws. She doesn’t openly condemn them, as other writers of her time did; but she is critical of the laws and conventions of the world she was living in, which denied women many of the opportunities and freedoms we now take for granted. This subtext can go unnoticed and Austen is categorised by some readers as a romance novelist. This is true and her six novels do feature marriages, flirting and affairs. However, they are far more than this. Her stories explore gender relations, power, money, education, parental responsibilities and marriage through the eyes of a woman living in the 18th and 19th century because at the time that she was writing, women had very few legal, educational, social or economic rights. Austen reveals how important marriage was to most women. For many, marriage was a way to gain wealth and high social status, but for others it was about securing a home, saving themselves from poverty and avoiding the destitution - or extreme poverty- of being a single woman over the age of 25. Austen was one of the earliest feminists. However, her novels are not feminist in the way we mean today but they do hint at the need for equality between men and women and her heroines defy gender norms. Jane Austen is inspirational because she proved that women can write as well as men can. She gives unique and engaging heroines and is one of the most famous writers in English literature. Her books are read by people all over the world and have been made into many TV, film, theatre and radio adaptations. This is extremely impressive because she only wrote six novels, which are still bought in millions today. While Austen received some credit for her works when she was alive, with her first three novels gaining critical attention and an increasing amount of money, it was not until after her death that her brother Henry revealed that she was an author. This marked her change from being unknown to one of the most influential literary figures.

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