Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice and Emma

Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice and Emma

Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice and Emma

Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice and Emma

Synopsis

Sometimes the personal stories behind famous writers can be as compelling as the works they pen. This new series introduces the life and writings of authors whose works forever changed the time period in which they lived, and whose writing continues to be a dynamic part of the literary landscape. Each book in the series contains a comprehensive list of the author's works, while highlighting and analyzing the writings most often discussed in high schools. from F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby to Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, an in-depth analysis of the writings and the historical time period in which they were written, along with the writers' biographies and critical commentaries of the past and present, provide the reader with a unique look into the worlds of these cultural icons and the writings we have come to regard as timeless.

Excerpt

Jane Austen's life may not at first seem as memorable as the lives of other British authors of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Compared to the tumultuous, even scandalous careers of famous Romantic poets such as Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, Austen's biography lacks spectacular episodes and events. She never traveled abroad and did not travel extensively even within her native country. She never married or had children, had no illicit love affairs that we know of, and did not become embroiled in any great political controversies. Her books were, on the whole, successful by the standards of the day, but she did not publish any of them under her own name, which was not uncommon for female authors of that time. Clearly, Austen neither sought nor desired personal fame, preferring a quiet life in the countryside with her sister and mother for company.

But in another way Austen's life is as fascinating as that of any other literary artist. Her engaging personality makes it so: her letters, descriptions of her written by those who knew her, and biographical research paint for us an intriguing portrait of a woman with a penetrating wit and a lively wisdom. Austen had a quick mind and an often mischievous sense of humor. She cared greatly for her brothers and sister, taking an abiding interest in their welfare and fortunes, and eventually becoming a favorite aunt to her brothers' children. While to this day scholars debate the exact nature of her political views, and while it is not always easy to ascertain her precise attitudes toward the dominant social and cultural issues of her time, there . . .

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