Our Friend Jane

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." So starts one of the most amazing and beloved novels ever written.

Jane Austen was an intelligent, creative, witty, charming, and single young woman. And, I believe, that she was just as outraged by the idea that a woman's worth should only be measured in terms of her wifely potential as many of us are today.

In the novel, Pride and Prejudice, she gives us the portrait of one of the strongest, wittiest, most intelligent women in fiction, Elizabeth Bennet. Some people say that Austen's characterization of Lizzy is autobiographical, and that the events in the novel are loosely based on her own experiences in dealing with men and love. Others say that Elizabeth and the events in the novel are her idealized self and the way she wished her life would have been. Either way, she sadly did not have the opportunity to share Elizabeth's happy endings in love and marriage.

Quick background info on Austen:

Jane Austen Portrait

Jane Austen 1775--1817

"English writer, who first gave the novel its modern character through the treatment of everyday life. Although Austen was widely read in her lifetime, she published her works anonymously. The most urgent preoccupation of her young, well-bred heroines is courtship, and finally marriage in the world dominated by men. Austen herself never married. Her best-known books include PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1813) and EMMA (1816). Virginia Woolf called her 'the most perfect artist among women.'" (Taken from http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/jausten.htm.)

For more information about Jane's life and work, check out the incredibly comprehensive Jane Austen Information Page at The Republic of Pemberley.

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