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Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Jane Austen (1775-1817) started writing when she was twenty-one years old and died when she was forty-one. She lived her whole life in the circle of her family in the parish where her father ministered and had no contact with the London literary world. Yet, she is considered by many to be the greatest woman novelist of the English-speaking world. Her novels are largely novels of manners; no earth-shaking events take place, but this allows her characters' lives to stand out in bold relief so that they translate well into today's world and seem as vital as ever. Her insights into the human heart regarding love-romantic, family and God's role in our daily lives still span the centuries. Her satirical wit creates some very funny characters. She finds comedy in everyday occurrences of life and relationship. Some are tragically funny like Mrs. Bennet with her hysterics and constant whining. While she sometimes uses biting irony, Austin descriptions of eighteenth-century culture remind us that we also have rules, pitfalls and comedy in our own ways of relating.
A great writer to read and study. At such a young age, Jane knew creating characters' that grabbed the readers heart-string, would capture her books forever more.