Life and Genius of Jane Austen
Jane Austen was a Georgian era author, and was well known for novels that dramatized what people would call a seemingly boring daily life. She would do it with deep, and fully clear observation of the primary motivations of each character, and she would put them in normal social situations, with regular pressures and how the central character, usually women and men of strength and character, themselves resolve their conflicts with the world, and interestingly, within themselves too.
The novels show a seamless integration of romance and realistic situations of life. In a strange way, they elevate life, from the surface to a higher level of soul, and value conflicts and the deep pursuit of happiness.
Jane Austen was the seventh child and second daughter of Cassandra and George sausten. She was born on December 16, 1775, in Steventon, Hampshire, England.
Her parents were well respected in the community and her father was a rector. Her father was very learned and well educated and with great love for books and original, independent thinking.
This he also encouraged fully, at home, and al the children, especially Jane benefited obviously from such daily dose of reading, discussions and enjoyment and also intimacy in the family.
It was a very healthy upbringing, private but very eventful, in terms of imaginative reading, thinking, being expressive and growing prodigiously.
Not only this, Jane’s father sent his children to a good school. His view was that children, even girls, should get the best academic input, and their thinking, imagination and knowledge should be broad and comprehensive. They learnt the subjects well, and Jane even wrote on History later, and developed a fertile imagination and expression in the written language.
Unfortunately, due to unrest and also financial constraints, Jane had to leave school. But, she continued to read, and read out to her family members, after she was home.
As you can see, she was homely and yet, she was mentally very active, and this trait of hers continued all her life.
The foundation, as it were, could not remain still, it grew in leaps and bounds, and resulted finally in around a dozen masterpieces of literature, signaling a new way in which stories could be told.
It was a strange story of a woman, who, just from home, became a celebrated thinker and writer in England, though this happened after her death.
AUSTEN’S JUVENILIA AND HONING OF WRITING SKILLS AND HER LATER MASTER PIECES
Jane learnt writing by writing itself. She started ambitiously and put her best and in the beginning, wrote many books, though now the world calls them her JUVENILIA.
She did have an imagination, and was always hard at work, with a fertile creation of characters, words and situations and with great delight. This is the way she became slowly, extremely talented and that too in a very natively original way.
She always had a ready audience at home. She read aloud books, and usually written by her own self, to her intelligent, eager and sensitive family members.
By her thirties, she had almost perfected her unique style of writing stories and she wrote many novels, including Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and sensibility, Persuasion etc.
They got critical acclaim, but it was not until the beginning of the 20th century, after her death, that the world realized that these were masterpieces. She had an unusual fame. Books of hers were made into movies, and she was voted as 80th in the top 100 celebrated thinkers. She got fan clubs and even today, the world over, her stories have been made into movies and have been watched by millions in many languages too.
Jane Austen death, tragically, was at a very early age of 43. She got a disease and she left behind a strange story of her own life.
A simple girl, living largely at home, with no family, who read and wrote and thought out stories all her life, perfected her art AND SIMPLY ACHIEVED WORLD FAME.
It is a great lesson of how the greatest achievements come from within and not from pomp and show, and flattery, traits that she herself mocked in her novels.
This was a wise and happy woman, and extremely observant and intelligent, yet a great story teller, not of big scale events, but seeing significance in daily, real, actual, human lives.
She left that impact and that lesson for posterity, and her works would be examined, studied, and millions would learn and live by applying that basic principle, each in his own way.
She is a lesson in independence, gender equality and self generated, honed, and applied passion and real living with the highest human faculty of imagination and bringing to life, real world of real people, yet making it all full of meaning, drama and entertainment.