Jane Austen

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This is the Introduction for the reading sessions

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Jane Austen

  1. 1. Jane Austen Moira Joui C.
  2. 2. Childhood <ul><li>She was born on 16 December 1775 in the village of Steventon in Hampshire. </li></ul><ul><li>She was the sixth of the eight children of a clergyman, Reverend George Austen. </li></ul><ul><li>She began to write as a teenager. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1801 the family moved to Bath. </li></ul><ul><li>After the death of Jane's father in 1805 Jane, her sister Cassandra and their mother moved several times eventually settling in Chawton, near Steventon. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Youth <ul><li>As a young woman Jane enjoyed dancing (an activity which features frequently in her novels) and she attended balls in many of the great houses of the neighbourhood. </li></ul><ul><li>She loved the country, enjoyed long country walks, and had many Hampshire friends. </li></ul><ul><li>After her father's death in 1805, his widow and daughters also suffered financial difficulties and were forced to rely on the charity of the Austen sons. </li></ul><ul><li>It was also at this time that, Jane fell in love, and when the young man died, she was deeply upset. Later she accepted a proposal of marriage from Harris Bigg-Wither, a wealthy landowner and brother to some of her closest friends, but she changed her mind the next morning and was greatly upset by the whole episode.  </li></ul>
  4. 4. Her Books <ul><li>At the age of 14 she wrote her first novel, Love and Friendship and then A History of England by a partial, prejudiced and ignorant Historian. </li></ul><ul><li>In her early twenties Jane Austen wrote the novels that were later to be re-worked and published as Sense and Sensibility , Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey . She also began a novel called The Watsons which was never completed.  </li></ul>
  5. 5. Her times: a brief background  <ul><li>Britain, in Jane Austen’s lifetime, was actually at the beginning of the most far-reaching social transformation in her history to date, as industrialisation began to take hold. </li></ul><ul><li>For almost all of Jane Austen’s adult life, England – with only a couple of brief lulls – was at war with France: from 1793 when revolutionary France declared war on Britain, to Napoleon’s final defeat at Waterloo in 1815. Although there are no direct references to these wars in her novels </li></ul>
  6. 6. Her Family tree
  7. 7. Some of her Novels <ul><li>Mansfield Park </li></ul><ul><li>Pride and Prejudice </li></ul><ul><li>Sense and Sensibility </li></ul><ul><li>Emma </li></ul><ul><li>Persuasion </li></ul>
  8. 8. Pride and Prejudice <ul><li>The social milieu of Austen's Regency England was particularly stratified, and class divisions were rooted in family connections and wealth. </li></ul><ul><li>In her work, Austen is often critical of the assumptions and prejudices of upper-class England. </li></ul><ul><li>She distinguishes between internal merit (goodness of person) and external merit (rank and possessions). </li></ul><ul><li>Nevertheless, Austen was in many ways a realist, and the England she depicts is one in which social mobility is limited and class-consciousness is strong. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Pride and Prejudice <ul><li>Socially regimented ideas of appropriate behavior for each gender were extremely relevant into Austen's work as well: while social advancement for young men lay in the military, church, or law, the chief method of self-improvement for women was the acquisition of wealth. </li></ul><ul><li>Women could only accomplish this goal through successful marriage, which explains the importance of marriage as a goal and topic of conversation in Austen's writing. </li></ul><ul><li>Though young women of Austen's day had more freedom to choose their husbands than in the early eighteenth century, practical considerations continued to limit their options. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Pride and Prejudice <ul><li>THE PLOT: </li></ul><ul><li>The news that a wealthy young gentleman named Charles Bingley has rented the manor of Netherfield Park causes a great stir in the nearby village of Longbourn, especially in the Bennet household. </li></ul><ul><li>The Bennets have five unmarried daughters—from oldest to youngest, Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia—and Mrs. Bennet is desperate to see them all married. After Mr. Bennet pays a social visit to Mr. Bingley, the Bennets attend a ball at which Mr. Bingley is present. </li></ul><ul><li>He is attracted by Jane and spends much of the evening dancing with her. His close friend, Mr. Darcy, is less pleased with the evening and haughtily ( disdainfully proud; snobbish; scornfully arrogant ) refuses to dance with Elizabeth, which makes everyone view him as arrogant and obnoxious. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Bibliography <ul><li>http://www.jasa.net.au/inperspective/times.htm </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/austen_jane.shtml </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.jasa.net.au/jabiog.htm#novels </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/pride/context.html </li></ul><ul><li>http://dictionary.reference.com </li></ul>

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