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Follow the link for more information. Austen’s plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favourable social standing and economic security. 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century literary realism. Her use of biting irony, along with her realism and social commentary, have earned her acclaim among critics and scholars.

Her novels have rarely been out of print, although they were published anonymously and brought her little fame during her lifetime. A significant transition in her posthumous reputation occurred in 1833, when her novels were republished in Richard Bentley’s Standard Novels series, illustrated by Ferdinand Pickering, and sold as a set. They gradually gained wider acclaim and popular readership. Austen has inspired a large number of critical essays and literary anthologies.

There is little biographical information about Jane Austen’s life except the few letters that survive and the biographical notes her family members wrote. During her lifetime Austen wrote approximately 3,000 letters but only about 160 survive. 1843 burned the greater part of them and cut pieces out of those she kept. Ostensibly Cassandra destroyed or censored her sister’s letters to prevent their falling into the hands of relatives and ensuring that “younger nieces did not read any of Jane Austen’s sometimes acid or forthright comments on neighbors or family members”.

Cassandra believed that in the interest of tact and Jane’s penchant for forthrightness, these details should be destroyed. The paucity of record of Austen’s life leaves modern biographers little to work with. The situation was compounded as successive generations of the family expunged and sanitized the already opaque details of Austen’s biography. The legend the family and relatives created reflects their biases in favour of “good quiet Aunt Jane”, portraying a woman whose domestic situation was happy and whose family was the mainstay of her life. Austen scholar Jan Fergus explains that modern biographies tend to include details excised from the letters and family biographical materials, but that the challenge is to avoid the polarising view that Austen experienced periods of deep unhappiness and was “an embittered, disappointed woman trapped in a thoroughly unpleasant family. He added that her arrival was particularly welcome as “a future companion to her sister”. The winter of 1776 was particularly harsh and it was not until 5 April that she was baptised at the local church with the single name Jane.

He came from an old, respected, and wealthy family of wool merchants. Over the centuries as each generation of eldest sons received inheritances their wealth was consolidated, and George’s branch of the family fell into poverty. He and his two sisters were orphaned as children and had to be taken in by relatives. Her eldest brother James inherited a fortune and large estate from his great-aunt Perrot, with the only condition that he change his name to Leigh-Perrot. George and Cassandra exchanged miniatures in 1763 and probably were engaged around that time. Steventon parish from the wealthy husband of his second cousin, Thomas Knight, who owned Steventon and its associated farms, one of which the Austen family rented to live in.

They left for Hampshire the same day. Cassandra brought the expectation of a small inheritance at the time of her mother’s death to the marriage. They took up temporary residence at the nearby Deane rectory until Steventon, a 16th century house in disrepair, underwent necessary renovations. In 1768 the family finally took up residence in Steventon. At about this time Cassandra could no longer ignore that little George was developmentally disabled. He was subject to seizures, may have been deaf and dumb, and she chose to send him out to be fostered. 1774, and Jane in 1775.