Nearly 200 years after her death, Jane Austen (1775-1817) remains one of the English-speaking world’s most popular and beloved authors. Raised amid a large and close-knit family in rural England, Austen came to pioneer an ironic, realist writing technique that gently but unmistakably critiqued the stultifying cultural mores of the landed gentry. Though she only completed seven novels in her lifetime—Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, and Lady Susan—her witty, satirical take on marriage, romance, women’s rights and the upper class continue to have a larger-than-life impact, thanks to countless film and television adaptations and a thriving, adoring community of self-labeled “Janeites.”
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