Jane Austen is the author of books which still today, after almost 200 years, continue to inspire generations of authors and, more generally, women. Women who take inspiration from such an incisive figure in modern culture, who has highlighted the contradictions of a patriarchal society in unsuspected times. The figure of Jane Austen was the subject of renewed attention a few years ago, on the occasion of the bicentenary of his death, which led to events, exhibitions and all over the world readings. Having died a only 41 years oldleft a literary legacy (with many unfinished) very important, which helped to make his timeless work. Before delving into Jane Austen’s books, let’s review her figure and what she represents.
Jane Austen: who she is and what she represents
Jane Austen was born in the context ofVictorian Englandprecisely in 1775 in the Hampshire, a small village in the south of the country. In his life she wrote six novels, begun around the age of twenty but published only starting in 1811. The context in which she was born is significant for the development of the his work: the life of a woman, at the time, was mainly linked to the walls of the houseit was not possible to have property and marriage represented the only way to maintain a reputation within the upper-middle social class. Sociality was linked to the historical context, so in the absence of the entertainment we are used to today, conversation and walks were the most important part of daily life, and the great dances were the moments of greater sociality, in which the chance to find a man, and, ideally, to marry.
Jane Austen decide to give up this possibility for live solely on your own pen, an uncomfortable choice for the culture of the time. Brother Henry is the person who dealt with the publishers for the publication of his novels, because women were not allowed to do it personally. The most passionate readers of him probably already know the parallelism between the author’s desire for affirmation with the protagonists of her novelswhich thus serve as a tale of Victorian society and, at the same time, instrument of emancipation for the female figure of the time.
Jane Austen: curiosity
The news we have on the life of Jane Austen, in addition to those mentioned, they are rather scarce and sometimes even uncertain. What we do know, however, are some anecdotes and curiosities that have mainly been transmitted to us from his letters, and that have become part of popular culture. The first is that his novels were not published in his name, but under a pseudonym (by a Lady), and his name appeared only in posthumous publications, revealed by his brother Henry. Even the titles of his novels would seem to have been decided by his brothers, in particular Persuasion And Northanger Abbey. Another curiosity is that there are still doubts about the cause of her death, and in 2017 the theory was revived that she would be poisoned by arsenic, which at the time could also be present in contaminated waters.
Pride and Prejudice
The first book of Jane Austen which inevitably goes mentioned is inevitably Pride and Prejudice (Pride & Prejudice), the most famous and loved of his novels. Pride and Prejudice it is a book that, since it came out in 1813, has affected modern culture western like few others, and has been the subject of countless film and television adaptations. It has also inspired so many pop culture novels today, like The Diary of Bridget Jones. The plot revolves around the events of the Bennet family, made up of parents and five daughters. The family is in turmoil over the news of the arrival of a young and wealthy gentleman, Mr. Bingley, who falls in love with the eldest of the Bennet sisters, Jane. Mr. Bingley has a friend, Mr. Darcy, which captures the antipathy of the entire community and in particular of Elizabeth, one of the sisters. These events thicken over the course of the novel, undermining the serenity of the community and the Bennet family.
Reason and sentiment
Reason and sentiment and the first book published by Jane Austenanonymous at the time of release, in 1811. It was a hugely successful novelas evidenced by the French translation carried out when she was still alive, in 1815. The plot here revolves around the events of the stepsisters of John (Elinor, Marianne And Margaret) rich heiress who, however, distances them from his wealth. The new life of the girls collides with economic hardships they were not used to until that moment. The plot of the novel, you will discover by reading, is centered on contrast between Elinor’s reason and Marianne’s emotionalityinspired the author’s relationship with her older sisterCassandra.
Emma is Jane Austen’s book which deals more with the theme of misunderstanding in love. The protagonist is a beautiful and rich young woman, but who she has no intention of finding a husband, and who instead really appreciates the idea of marrying others. Her behavior begins to be viewed badly by the community of friends, until the arrival of the character of Jane Farfax, who will disturb her safety. Emma is a novel that has been highly praised also, for example, from Virginia Woolf, and it is a novel that has some discordant features compared to the previous ones: the protagonist has no economic problems, and is far from an idea of romantic love. Among all, she is probably the smoothest novel by Jane Austen.
Persuasion is the latest book by Jane Austen written before death e published posthumously. Given this, many critics believe that the title of this novel was not chosen by the author. Persuasion it refers to what he has suffered Anne Elliot, the protagonist, together with other characters, in the plot of the story. Anne is a girl who sees her house rented to a certain Captain Wentworth, due to the economic imprudence of the father. This event awakens painful memories in her, which will develop together with the events of the novel, studded with wonderful and symbolic descriptions of the autumn season.
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