Idea Store - Jane Austen Bicentenary

Jane Austen Bicentenary

'I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! -- When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.'
Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice

Author of the masterpieces 'Pride and Prejudice' and 'Emma', Jane Austen (1775-1817) is one of the best-loved novelists of all time.

Jane Austen, (born 16 December 775, Hampshire, England—died 18 July 817, Winchester, Hampshire), was the writer who first gave the novel its distinctly modern character through her treatment of ordinary people in everyday life. She published four novels during her lifetime: 'Sense and Sensibility' (1811), 'Pride and Prejudice' (1813), 'Mansfield Park' (1814), and 'Emma' (1815). In these and in 'Persuasion' and 'Northanger Abbey' (published together posthumously, 1817), she vividly depicted English middle-class life during the early 19th century. Her novels defined the era’s novel of manners, but they also became timeless classics that remained critical and popular successes two centuries after her death. 

With the wit, realism, and timelessness of her prose style, her shrewd, amused sympathy, and the satisfaction to be found in stories so skillfully told, in novels so beautifully constructed, that helps to explain her continuing appeal for readers of all kinds.

Discover more about Jane Austen's life

Discover more about Jane Austen's life with your library card and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and Britannica Online.

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Jane Austen quotes

'It isn't what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.'
Sense and Sensibility

'There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.'
Pride and Prejudice

'The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel must be intolerably stupid.'
Northanger Abbey

'Good opinion once lost, is lost forever.'
Pride and Prejudice