It is only a novel… or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language
Today we take our hats off to the English authoress Jane Austen born 240 years ago this day. She set the standard for storytelling and went down a lonely road for future female writers like J.K. Rowling, Margaret Mitchell, and Suzanne Collins to follow after. Her classics works inspired countless sequels and have been adapted into films such as Clueless, Bridget Jones’ Diary, and an upcoming movie featuring zombies!
Instead of marrying and raising children like a typical woman of Georgian society, she chose to remain close with her family and pursue her literary career. She wrote 6 incredible novels, the most well-known being Pride & Prejudice. In that story we have two characters who judged each other solely on first impressions and later see that they were wrong their assumptions. It reflects how people should not be rejected for shallow reasons and would be better off taking time to understand each other.
Her work is timeless because she features people we have all met. The annoying know-it-all aunt. That creepy neighbor. A silly sister. Those loyal friends who will always be there when you need them. And she sagely portrays how everyone always turn out to be so much more or less than we originally expected.
There is no one who matches her romantic settings. Readers appreciate looking into a world where candles and lamps lit the nights, horses were the main form of transportation, and letters were handwritten with quills. Many generations of women all around the world dream of meeting a handsome gentleman with good manners and education as featured in her novels. Jane shows us the charm of living in times uninterrupted by war, before commercialism and moral decay was prevalent in culture.
Jane was clever, sassy, and defiant of tradition. She made the most of her short years by portraying the rich/poor, wise/foolish, as well as gave insight into high society interactions. We can learn quite a few lessons from her literature. First, marriage can either lead to the greatest joy or the longest suffering. Second, it is very important to keep close to your family and you can go farther in life with their love and support. Lastly, keeping or breaking promises defines you as a person – your words are gold or worthless based on your record.
Let us raise our books to a woman who continues to guide us to follow both our sense and sensibility!