Jane Austen was born
at Steventon Parsonage, Hampshire, England on December 16, 1775. The seventh of eight children,
she was educated by her minister-father and the Abbey School in Reading, England. The first twenty-six
years of her life were spent in the rectory, but in 1801, the family moved to Bath in hopes of restoring
her father's health. In 1805, upon his death, they moved to Southampton, and then to Chawton,
Hampshire in 1809. 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.
Austen began her literary career
by writing parodies and sketches for her family, some of which survive today. Pride and Prejudice was
first published in 1813, and is the second of Austen's novels. Her other novels include Sense
and Sensibility (1811), Mansfield Park (1814), Emma, (1816), Persuasion (1818), and Northanger Abbey
(1818). Also surviving are a few novel beginnings, some verse, some prayers, and many letters.
Jane Austen died at the age of forty-two on July 18, 1817 in Winchester, England of what historians
now believe to have been Addison's disease.