Jane Austen was born on December 16th,
1775 at Steventon in Hampshire, England, and lived much of her life in this small English village. The
seventh of eight children, she was educated by her minister-father and the Abbey School in Reading,
England. She later spent a few years in Bath, where she moved with her family at age 25. In 1805, after
her father's death, the family moved to Southampton and then to Chawton, Hampshire in 1809.
Austen began her literary career by writing parodies and sketches for her family, some of which survive
today. Emma was her fourth novel, and was published in 1816. Her other novels include
Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park(1814),
Persuasion (1818), and Northanger Abbey (1818). Sense and Sensibility did not
bear Austen's name as author, but was said to be written "By A Lady," while the next three novels were
said to be "By The Author of Sense and Sensibility." Her last two novels were published after her death.
Also surviving are a few novel beginnings, some verse, some prayers, and many letters.
Austen's novels incorporate her observations
on the manners of her time and class, and while they often relate courtship, love, and marriage, Austen
herself never married. Jane Austen died on July 18, 1817 in Winchester, England of what historians
now believe to have been Addison's disease. She is buried in Winchester Cathedral.