Jane Austen is one of the world's most revered writers. The daughter of a clergyman, Austen was born in Hampshire in 1775, and later lived in Bath and the village of Chawton. Celebrated for her keen insight into English middle-class life, many of her books take place in Bath, the rural villages that she would have experienced and, of course, the bright lights of London.
Along with the sharp observations of life during the 18th and early 19th centuries, her spot-on wit and her shrewd knowledge of human nature, Austen also introduced several new literary devices, including the narrative technique used in Emma, whereby the story is told from the viewpoint of an omniscient narrator. Austen was one of the first writers, along with Goethe, to use this style of free indirect speech.
But as well as her techniques, her themes were also important, and remain so today. Themes around property and class, marriage and the economic position of women (yep, both are related!), plus the role of the individual in society, in their relationships, and in both their public and private lives.
Austen only wrote six books (as well as a novella, Lady Susan) but her impact is such that she is known the world over, even though she lived over two centuries ago. If you've never had the chance to read her or have only dipped in and out of her complete oeuvre, now's the chance to change all that by reading her books and finding out what all the fuss is actually about!
Be warned, though - after reading all of Austen's books you'll likely be tempted to read them all again. And again. And again... And...(well, you get the drift - she's pretty addictive!)
These books make a great gift for Jane Austen lovers. Why not team them with our strong and soft, eco-friendly Jane Austen tote?