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Name American Literature Period 10/05/10 AAP Biography Title Introduction Attention Getter o “Jane Austen is one of the few novelists in world literature who is regarded as a "classic" and yet is widely read” (http://people.brandeis.edu/~teuber/austenbio.html#MainEssaySection) o Name of Author Main Points o Early Life/Family and Friends o Later Life o Works and Themes Body Body Paragraph 1: Author’s Early life and family and friends o It was in Steventon that Austen was born in 1775, the seventh of eight children of the village rector, the Rev. George Austen. (Huntley) o The Rev. Austen died in 1807 and is buried in Bath at St. Swithin's churchyard. After a short stay in Southampton, the female Austens moved to Chawton, where Jane's brother, as lord of the manor, provided them with an eight- room "cottage" in the center of the village. Jane fell in love with the house, and there is every indication that the Austen women were decidedly happy there together. What we do know is that these Chawton years were the most productive of Jane's unfortunately brief literary career. (Huntley) o She was the second daughter and seventh child in a family of eight: six boys and two girls. Her closest companion throughout her life was her elder sister, Cassandra, who also remained unmarried. Their father was a scholar who encouraged the love of learning in his children. His wife, Cassandra (née Leigh), was a woman of ready wit, famed for her impromptu verses and stories. The great family amusement was acting. (Brian) o A gifted and delightful versifier, Mrs. Austen used poetry to reflect on the minutiae of her daily life, from attendance at balls to recipes for puddings, from making mischief to making riddles. The contributions of other family members--brothers and sister, nieces and nephews--largely follow suit. The riddles and charades collected here suggest that poetry was frequently written as part of a parlor game in which all lent their modest but charming talents. (Campbell) o Austen, Jane (ô′stən), 1775–1817, English novelist. The daughter of a clergyman, she spent the first 25 years of her life at "Steventon," her father's Hampshire vicarage. Here her first novels, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Northanger Abbey, were written, although they were not published until much later. On her father's retirement in 1801, the family moved to Bath for several years and then to Southampton, settling finally at Chawton Cottage, near Alton, Hampshire, which was Jane's home for the rest of her life. (Campbell) Body Paragraph 2: Author’s Later life and death o After all, Austen lived in Chawton with her mother and sister (both named Cassandra) from 1809 until her death in 1817. Moreover, it was in Chawton that Austen completed each of the six novels that comprise her published works. (Huntley) o In December 1795 she fell in love herself, with Thomas Langlois Lefroy, a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, who was visiting his uncle and aunt. Recognizing that the young man would be disinherited if he married the daughter of a penniless clergyman, Madam Lefroy cut short the courtship by sending her nephew away. (http://people.brandeis.edu/~teuber/austenbio.html#MainEssaySection) o Persuasion, begun in 1815 and published posthumously (together with Northanger Abbey) in 1818, is Jane Austen's last complete novel and is perhaps most directly expressive of her feelings about her own life. The heroine, Anne Elliot, is a woman growing older with a sense that life has passed her by. Several years earlier she had fallen in love with Captain Wentworth but was parted from him because her class-conscious family insisted she make a more suitable match. But she still loves Wentworth, and when he again enters her life, their love deepens and ends in marriage. (http://www.gale.cengage.com/free_resources/whm/bio/austen_j.htm) o The novel Sanditon was unfinished at her death in 1817. She died at Winchester, where she had gone to seek medical attention, and was buried there. (http://www.gale.cengage.com/free_resources/whm/bio/austen_j.htm) Jane lived many years of her life with her family in Steventon before moving to Chawton at the age of Although Austen never married she did fall in love. Body Paragraph 3: Author’s works and themes o As Jane's novels make clear, the social obligations and expectations of the gentry (which included retired clergymen and their families) were taken seriously and not floured with impunity. (Huntley) o Seen through their lenses, Austen is a traditional thinker who compares unfavorably to other, seemingly more ambitious, women authors--not unlike the Jane Austen of the old school in fact: that "gentle chronicler of Regency order" who could not hold a candle to Walter Scott or Dickens. (Brown) o In Jane Austen's society, of course, romantic love did not alter the institution of marriage or property or female dependence." (Brown) o It was in Steventon and Chawton that Austen composed all of her novels. These were novels of peace and serenity — novels in which, if gentlemen lost their heads, they usually ended up married instead of dead. She eschewed the Great Themes — war, death, suffering, revolution and injustice. Instead, she described her work as "the little bit (two inches wide) of ivory on which I work with so fine a brush, as produces little effect after much labour....Three or four families in a country village is the very thing to work on." Her works are not merely novels of comedy and comfort, however, or of amiable young ladies finding eligible young men. Uncertainty and risk are the constant backdrops to comfort and pleasure; successful love is always fenced about by moral dilemmas and hard realism; and harsh satire is hurled at those who lack the backbone to do what is right. After all, Austen is one of the few people you can cite as the greatest novelist ever and not get sniggered at, and she didn't get there by writing trivia. (Hargan) o THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION STARTED in the year Jane Austen was born. When she was 17, the Reign of Terror began in France. Two years before her death, England and France fought the Battle of Waterloo. Austen lived in a world torn by revolutionary violence, and she never wrote a word about any of it. But she did know about it. Two of her brothers saw extensive combat as naval officers during the Napoleonic wars. Her cousin and close friend, Eliza de Feuillide, was a guillotine widow. In fact, Eliza was staying with Austen's family in Hampshire when her husband's head was severed for the benefit of a Paris mob. Oh yes, Miss Austen knew all about it. (Hargan) o A gifted and delightful versifier, Mrs. Austen used poetry to reflect on the minutiae of her daily life, from attendance at balls to recipes for puddings, from making mischief to making riddles. The contributions of other family members--brothers and sister, nieces and nephews--largely follow suit. The riddles and charades collected here suggest that poetry was frequently written as part of a parlor game in which all lent their modest but charming talents. (Campbell) o Northanger Abbey, a satire on the Gothic romance, was sold to a publisher for £10 in 1803, but as it was not published, was bought back by members of the family and was finally issued posthumously. The novels published in Austen's lifetime were Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), and Emma (1816). Persuasion was issued in 1818 with Northanger Abbey. The author's name did not appear on any of her title pages, and although her own friends knew of her authorship, she received little public recognition in her lifetime. (Campbell) Conclusion Rephrase main points o Early life/family and friends o Later life o Works/Themes Author’s name: Jane Austen Clincher Works Cited (Times New Roman, 12pt Font, Double Spaced) Brian C., Southam. "Austen, Jane." Britannica Biographies (2010): 1. Middle Search Plus. EBSCO. Web. 27 Sept. 2010. Brown, Julia Prewitt. "The feminist depreciation of Austen: A polemical reading." Novel: A Forum on Fiction 23.3 (1990): 303. MAS Ultra - School Edition. EBSCO. Web. 27 Sept. 2010. Campbell, Thomas J. "THE POETRY OF JANE AUSTEN AND THE AUSTEN FAMILY." Magill Book Reviews (1997): Middle Search Plus. EBSCO. Web. 27 Sept. 2010. Hargan, Jim. "Jane Austen: At Home in Hampshire." British Heritage 25.5 (2004): 38. MAS Ultra - School Edition. EBSCO. Web. 27 Sept. 2010 Huntley, Dana. "Jane Austen at Home." British Heritage 30.1 (2009): 24. MAS Ultra - School Edition. EBSCO. Web. 27 Sept. 2010. "Jane Austen." Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition (2009): 1. Vocational and Career Collection. EBSCO. Web. 27 Sept. 2010 http://people.brandeis.edu/~teuber/austenbio.html#MainEssaySection http://www.gale.cengage.com/free_resources/whm/bio/austen_j.htm You need to use at least five different sources for this paper.
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