Jane Austen discussion

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message 1: by valee (new)

valee Jane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction set among the gentry have earned her a place as one of the most widely read and most beloved writers in English literature. Amongst scholars and critics, Austen's realism and biting social commentary have cemented her historical importance as a writer.

Austen lived her entire life as part of a close-knit family located on the lower fringes of the English 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 Austen's development as a professional writer. Austen's artistic apprenticeship lasted from her teenage years until she was about thirty-five years old. During this period, she experimented with various literary forms, including the epistolary novel which she tried and 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 (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1816), she achieved success as a published writer. She wrote two additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published posthumously in 1818, and began a third, which was eventually titled Sanditon, but died before completing it.

Austen's works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the eighteenth century and are part of the transition to nineteenth-century realism.Austen's plots, though fundamentally comic, highlight the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security. Like those of Samuel Johnson, one of the strongest influences on her writing, her works are concerned with moral issues.


message 2: by ضحى (new)

ضحى الحداد (dhlola) she is a great writer


message 3: by valee (new)

valee She really is. I love how she makes you feel part of that world.


message 4: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
i need to see that ...


message 5: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Louise Smith (sarahlouisesmith) Becoming Jane made me cry :( It's very good.


message 6: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Louise Smith (sarahlouisesmith) Oh and Miss Austen Regrets is another good one - that made me cry too!


message 7: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
Oh dear!! Both cry!! I know her life wasn't like her novels...


message 8: by Irene (new)

Irene | 271 comments I don't know how much Becoming Jane is adherent to Jane Austen's life. The affair with Tom Lefroy was something less compromising...


message 9: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Louise Smith (sarahlouisesmith) I'm sure both Becoming Jane and Miss Austen Regrets were dramatised to make them more 'interesting'...


message 10: by Irene (new)

Irene | 271 comments Yes, I think so. However, I cried so much when I watched Becoming Jane, that I'm not brave enough to watch Miss Austen Regrets...


message 11: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
I'm sure they did. It is sad though that her life was not like her novels...


message 12: by Marren (new)

Marren | 764 comments In the end I think Austen lived through her characters. Notice how she made sure the heroines got their heroes. Similar to the fair tales of happily ever after. I like reading her novels that give side notes about the characters or events. As a reader you see the dots connecting to Austen's life (well it is up to you to draw that conclusion). The Penguin Classics are equipped with introductory notes and footnotes


message 13: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
It does link up and the books wouldn't be as satisfying if the heroines didn't get their heroes!


message 14: by Marren (new)

Marren | 764 comments I wonder how it would be like if some of her heroines did not get their heroes? hmm


message 15: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
1 word; wrong!!!


message 16: by Marren (new)

Marren | 764 comments lol, I felt that passionate response, hehe. Don't put me in the slap thread, hehe.


message 17: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
I won't I won't ;)


message 18: by Marren (new)

Marren | 764 comments ;)


message 19: by Sarah (last edited Nov 11, 2012 04:27AM) (new)

Sarah Louise Smith (sarahlouisesmith) The 'romantic fiction' or 'chick lit' genre is often criticised for being too predictable: you know that the heroine will get with the hero by the end of the book. But I still enjoy them; it's how they get there that's important (and often who you think is going to be the hero, turns into the villain!)
I've read books where the hero/heroine dies at the end, leaving the other half alone: an awful, sad, horrific ending can spoil the whole book, in my opinion. I want some happy escapism, not to close the last page in tears.


message 20: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
I completely agree!
You can always tell the hero and heroine will end up together. But, you can't always tell how it will get to that point.
The twists and turns in the plot often take me by surprise and especially in the subplot. The subplots have often completely surprised me! And , like you said, some characters you think are good but then aren't. Even if you know the ending I think the fact that you don't know how it will get there and what will happen on the way makes up for.
And anyway, I like to know there will be a happy ending. It's so much more satisfying! I don't like sad ending as you finish the book/film and are left wanting more or feeling dissatisfied!! Romeo and Juliet is one example!


message 21: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Louise Smith (sarahlouisesmith) I agree... R&J is wonderful but dissatisfying... Happy endings are the best :)


message 22: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
Definitely!!


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