Jane Austen

Though the domain of Jane Austen’s novels was as circumscribed as her life, her caustic wit and keen observation made her the equal of the greatest novelists in any language. Born the seventh child of the rector of Steventon, Hampshire, on December 16, 1775, she was educated mainly at home. At an early age she began writing sketches and satires of popular novels for her family’s entertainment. As a clergyman’s daughter from a well-connected family, she had ample opportunity to study the habits of the middle class, the gentry, and the aristocracy. At 21, she began a novel called “The First Impressions,” an early version of Pride and Prejudice. In 1801, on her father’s retirement, the family moved to the fashionable resort of Bath. Two years later she sold the first version of Northanger Abby to a London publisher, but the first of her novels to appear in print was Sense and Sensibility, published at her own expense in 1811. It was followed by Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), and Emma (1815). After her father died in 1805, the family first moved to Southampton then to Chawton Cottage in Hampshire. Despite this relative retirement, Jane Austen was still in touch with a wider world, mainly through her brothers; one had become a very rich country gentleman, another a London banker, and two were naval officers. Though her many novels were published anonymously, she had many early and devoted readers, among them the Prince Regent and Sir Walter Scott. In 1816, in declining health, Austen wrote Persuasion and revised Northanger Abby. Her last work, Sandition, was left unfinished at her death on July 18, 1817. She was buried in Winchester Cathedral. Austen’s identity as an author was announced to the world posthumously by her brother Henry, who supervised the publication of Northanger Abby and Persuasion in 1818.

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cover_9781415950913
Author: Jane Austen | Narrator: Donada Peters
Release Date: December 18, 2007
Introduction by A. Walton Litz
 
“Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.
List Price: $120
ISBN: 9780736687669
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Author: Jane Austen | Narrator: Kate Reading
Release Date: October 17, 2006
Introduction by Anna Quindlen
Commentary by Margaret Oliphant, George Saintsbury, Mark Twain, A. C. Bradley, Walter A. Raleigh, and Virginia Woolf
 
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
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List Price: $80
ISBN: 9780736660549
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cover_9780739345429
Author: Jane Austen | Narrator: Donada Peters
Release Date: June 27, 2006
Published in 1811, Sense and Sensibility has delighted generations of readers with its masterfully crafted portrait of two sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. Forced to leave their home after their father's death, Elinor and Marianne must rely on making good marriages as their means of support.
List Price: $80
ISBN: 9780736686914
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cover_9781101975855
Author: Jane Austen | Narrator: Julie Christie
Release Date: January 30, 2003
Published in 1811, Sense and Sensibility has delighted generations of readers with its masterfully crafted portrait of two sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. Forced to leave their home after their father's death, Elinor and Marianne must rely on making good marriages as their means of support.
List Price: $38
ISBN: 9781101975855
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