Jane Austen

Jane Austen was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature. Her realism, biting irony and social commentary have gained her historical importance among scholars and critics.
Austen lived her entire life as part of a close-knit family located on the lower fringes of the English landed gentry. She was educated primarily by her father and older brothers as well as through her own reading. The steadfast support of her family was critical to her development as a professional writer. Her artistic apprenticeship lasted from her teenage years into her thirties. During this period, she experimented with various literary forms, including the epistolary novel which she then abandoned, and wrote and extensively revised three major novels and began a fourth. From 1811 until 1816, with the release of Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Emma, she achieved success as a published writer.
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This annotated version is fully illustrated with the original drawings. It also includes a detailed introductory annotation on how the book and the plot were created. To say nothing of the supreme excellence of the dialogue, there is scarcely a page but has its little gem of exact and polished phrasing; scarcely a chapter which is not neatly opened or artistically ended ; while the whole book abounds in sentences over which the writer, it is plain, must have lingered with patient and loving craftsmanship. . . . Criticism has found little to condemn in the details of this capital novel.- Austin Dobson Never was there a book written which has given more harmless pleasure to those who have come under its spell. As we open its pages, we bid adieu to a world of sordid cares and troublesome interests, and though we do not wander into fairy-land, for Miss Austen's world is always matter-of-fact, we do catch a breath of an air less severe than that which we habitually draw, and find, if not fairy-land, at least a touch of the lightness of fairy-land brought down to us. - Adolphus Alfred Jack. "Pride and Prejudice'' is realistic in its narrowness of scope, in its lack of complicated plot, and in that it sets forth clearly and fully a limited section of life. It attempts to hold up no ideals ; it deals for the most part with middle-class people ; it has in it no literary atmosphere suggested either by the characters or by the apthor's allusions. And yet one forgets that he is reading a book ; he feels as if he were making a visit among people in whom he had a human interest. He finds himself scheming with the fond mother in her matchmaking interests for her daughters five.- Charity Dye.
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