Jane Austen entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Jane Austen's unequalled reputation has led academic canon-makers to set her on a pedestal and scholars of early women's writing to use her as an epoch. For generations she was the first—or the only—woman to be adjudged 'major'. Recent attention has shifted: her balance, good sense, and humour are more taken for granted, and critics have been scanning her six mature novels for traces of the boldness and irreverence which mark her juvenilia. Her two unfinished novels, her letters (which some consider an important literary text in themselves), and her poems and prayers have also received some attention.
16 December 1775 JA was born at Steventon in Hampshire, a month after her mother had calculated that the birth was due. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
1787 The eleven-year-old JA "began to devote her spare time to writing." Bibliographic Citation link.
28 January 1813 JA's second completed novel was published: Pride and Prejudice, finally revised from "First Impressions" in 1811-1812. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
15 July 1817 On St Swithin's day, three days before she died, JA wrote a comic but also potentially serious poem which imagines the saint cursing the fashionable occasion of Winchester races with rain. Bibliographic Citation link.
18 July 1817 JA died at Winchester. The symptoms of her illness, for a while quite confidently identified as those of Addison's Disease, have recently been associated also with cancer and tuberculosis. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
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