I have decided to read Jane Austen this December; I consider it to be just right since it is her birthday month after all!

Does it ever occur to you why books like Pride And Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility are so popular in pop culture? There are countless movies and TV series with these titles, and did you know that Jane Austen is the only woman – apart from the Queen –to be feature on English currency? As of September 2017 she has been appearing on the newly printed 10 pound note!

Jane Austen was born on December 16th of 1775 in Hampshire England and is the seventh child and second daughter of Cassandra and George Austen. At the age of eleven, she began writing poems and stories for her own and her family’s amusement.

Her first released novel was Sense and Sensibility (1811). It was followed by Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1816). She wrote two additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published posthumously in 1818. Austen died before having completed another novel, eventually titled Sanditon. She also left behind three volumes of juvenile writings in manuscript, a short epistolary novel Lady Susan, and another unfinished novel, The Watsons.

Her six full-length novels have rarely been out of print. Like most women authors at the time, Austen‘s books were published anonymously because women were considered housewives before any other profession and a woman who wished to be a full-time writer was felt to be degrading her femininity. Austen made £140 from her first book Sense and Sensibility which provided her with some financial and psychological independence. So she went on to write more books, all of which were labelled as written “By the author of Sense and Sensibility” and Austen‘s name never appeared on her books during her lifetime.

Jane’s works are mostly known for having feminist themes in fighting for the pursuit of favourable social standings as well as economic security. In her writing style, she uses irony, humour and social commentary. Her characters are often humorous and witty, making her a writer with a comic sense. This is emphasised in the modesty and lack of superiority in most of her characters. And thus, it is believed that her smooth writing style is what makes her books widely bought and read more than 200 years later.

There is a sense of charm and beauty in the love stories she weaves. I mean seriously, who doesn’t love Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy?