Inspiring books and movies almost two hundred years after her death, Jane Austen is herself a fascinating character. In Jane Austen and Her Times 1775-1817
, we meet the woman who sardonically captured Victorian womanhood in such novels as Sense and Sensibility
(1811) and Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775. The seventh of eight children, Jane came from a close-knit family. Her father, George Austen, was rector of Steventon, a small town in Hampshire, England. Educated by a relative first in Oxford and then in Southampton, she eventually attended the Reading Ladies boarding school, which made her more educated than most girls during her time.
By 1801, Austen and her family had moved to the posh city of Bath that became the setting for some of her novels. There, she received a marriage proposal, but in the end she never married. Instead, she moved onto her brother's estate in Chawton. She wrote novels there until ill health forced her to move to Winchster to be closer to a doctor. She died on July 18, 1817.
Beyond the usual details of her life, Jane Austen and Her Times, 1775-1817 expounds upon the clergy, contemporary writers, and the navy. It also features chapters like "Society and Love-Making" and "Dress and Fashion," which are sure to delight the reader. The book, written in 1905, includes twenty-one illustrations, as well as tables and graphs.