“Silly things cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way.”
Jane Austen (1775-1817)
Austen lived and wrote extensively about the life of the minor English gentry of the 18th and early 19th centuries. Her first successful novel, Sense and Sensibility, was published anonymously, and although she enjoyed some fame later in life it was not until the 1940’s that she gained the dedicated following her work garners today. Her other best known books, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Emma, set the tone for highly detailed seriocomic romantic fiction describing the dependency of the women of that time on the correct marriage to assure their standing and security. Few details of her quiet domestic life are known, including the cause of her relatively early death.