Austen for Beginners


Jane Austen - who was she?

Quick biography:

Jane Austen was the unmarried daughter of a clergyman and lived in the south of England from 1775 to 1817.

She wrote six published novels, a few additional shorter works and a variety of unfinished bits and pieces which were discovered after her death.

Her most well-known work is Pride and Prejudice, but the other novels are worth reading too.

There have been two recent attempts to dramatise her life:
Becoming Jane and Miss Austen Regrets. Both of these owed quite a lot to their authors' imagination and not quite so much to reality, but are entertaining to watch anyway.

That might be all you want to know. If so, that’s fine – that’s all you need.

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If you’re interested in learning more about Jane Austen’s life – read on….

  • Born: 16th December 1775, in Steventon, a small village in Hampshire. The original rectory where the Austens lived was demolished in 1824.
  • Parents:the Reverend George Austen and his wife, Cassandra.
  • Siblings: James (born 1765), George (1766), Edward (1767), Henry (1771), Cassandra (1773), Frank (1774) and Charles (1779).
  • Lived: in Steventon until 1801 then moved to Bath. Father died in 1805 and Jane moved with her mother and sister to Southampton in 1806. In 1809 Jane’s brother Edward offered them a house in Chawton, not far from Steventon and they moved there.
  • Novels published:
    The last two were published together in a four volume set after her death.
  • Died: 18th July 1817, aged 41, in Winchester where she had moved a few months earlier in order to be treated for illness.
  • Buried: 24th July 1817, in Winchester Cathedral.

A memoir by Austen's nephew, James Austen Leigh, was published in 1870:

For more information about Jane Austen’s life, 
have a go at reading one of the biographies or other books available. There are several in the Austen for Beginners store or you can click on the links below.:




Learn more about Jane Austen’s written work

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Austen for Beginners   Pride and Prejudice   Sense and Sensibility   Emma   Mansfield Park   Northanger Abbey   Persuasion