Sunday, May 1, 2011


Lady Mary Wortley Montago (1689-1762)

Reading develops a sense of creativity, broadens your horizons and helps open our minds to new possibilities. Some feels reading a book is like having a “love hate relationship that can provoke emotion and reaction whether it is through laughter, thrills, expectations, desire, anger, disappointment and even hatred”. When you pick up a book and lose yourself in it, your imagination is being drawn into another world of wonder that the author has created.

There are many exceptionally good books and great authors to choose from and it is difficult to single out an individual. In 2003 the BBC conducted the largest ever poll for the “UK’s Best-Loved Book” in which Pride and Prejudice came second, behind The Lord of the Rings. In a 2008 survey of more than 15,000 Australian readers, Pride and Prejudice came first in a list of the 101 best books ever written.

Jane Austen
A true Legend.

Jane Austen is one of the many amazing authors who will perhaps never die because of her great work, someone who was able to relate to us even today hundreds of years later. To date, the book has sold some 20 million copies worldwide.  Twentieth century scholars rated her among the greatest talents in English letters, sometimes even comparing her to Shakespeare.

Born on 16 December, 1775 Jane Austen was the daughter of Cassandra (née Leigh) (1739–1827) and the reverend George Austen (1731–1805). Young Jane was tutored at home and in 1785-1786, she was educated at the Reading Ladies boarding school in the Abbey gatehouse in Reading, Berkshire. In general, she received an education superior to that generally given to girls of her time, and took early to writing, her first tale begun in 1789.

Writing in the romantic vein, Austen was also a realist and has been lauded for her form and structure of plot and intensely detailed characters.  Her combination of irony, humour, and sophisticated observations of the societal and cultural machinations between the classes epitomise the often absurd problems of inheritance, courtship, morals, and marriage in Regency England.

   Adhering to contemporary convention for female authors, Austen published her novels anonymously. She wrote in earnest, revising and writing new works including Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), and Emma (1815).  Her novels were fairly received when they were published.  Jane Austen died on 18th July, 1817.  She lies buried in the north aisle of the nave in Winchester Cathedral in Winchester, England.

The Jane Austen Society was founded in 1940 with the purpose of raising funds to preserve the Cottage in the village of Chawton, Hampshire, where Jane Austen lived with her mother and sister Cassandra from 1809 to 1817.  Jane Austen writes her impressions to her brother Francis on July 26th:

' for ourselves, we're very well, As unaffected prose will tell.
Cassandra's pen will give our state
The many comforts that await
Our Chawton Home - how much we find
   Already in it to our mind,
And how convinced that when    complete,
It will all other houses beat,
That ever have been made or mended,
With rooms concise or rooms distended.
You'll find us very snug next year;.....'

The Jane Austen Memorial Trust purchased Chawton Cottage in 1947 and the Jane Austen Society helped with its preservation. It is administered by the Trust and open to the public. As a museum it has a matchless collection of books, furniture, pictures and other memorabilia associated with Jane Austen and the Austen family.

Pride and Prejudice
One of the first two published
illustrations of Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice has consistently been Jane Austen’s most popular novel. Though the story is set at the turn of the 19th century, it retains a fascination for modern readers and receives considerable attention from literary scholars. 

Modern interest in the book has resulted in a number of dramatic adaptations and an abundance of novels and stories imitating Austen's memorable characters or themes. Hundreds of continuing stories, re-tellings, and modern day adaptations have flooded the market. Her works have gone on to inspire adaptations to the stage and film and have endured the test of time even into the 21st century.

Sources: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia........More here. 


  1. For two centuries, her stories in Pride and Prejudice are still evergreen…amazing. Must read the book again, its been a long time

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