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About the Author: Jane Austen

Jane Austen was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature, her realism and biting social commentary cementing her historical importance among scholars and critics.

Austen lived her entire life as part of a close-knit family located on the lower fringes of the English landed gentry. She was educated primarily by her father and older brothers as well as through her own reading. The steadfast support of her family was critical to her development as a professional writer. Her artistic apprenticeship lasted from her teenage years until she was about 35 years old. During this period, she experimented with various literary forms, including the epistolary novel which she tried then abandoned, and wrote and extensively revised three major novels and began a fourth. From 1811 until 1816, with the release of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1815), she achieved success as a published writer. She wrote two additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published posthumously in 1818, and began a third, which was eventually titled Sanditon, but died before completing it.

Austen's works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century realism. Her plots, though fundamentally comic, highlight the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security. Her work brought her little personal fame and only a few positive reviews during her lifetime, but the publication in 1869 of her nephew's A Memoir of Jane Austen introduced her to a wider public, and by the 1940s she had become widely accepted in academia as a great English writer. The second half of the 20th century saw a proliferation of Austen scholarship and the emergence of a Janeite fan culture.


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Goodreads rating: 4.63

Audio CD, Published in Jul 2009 by CSA Word

ISBN10: 1906147450 | ISBN13: 9781906147457

Page count: 1

Jane Austen's novels have proved to be enduring favorites in every medium in which they appear, whether books or movies, comic books or TV mini-series. Works like Emma, Persuasion, and Pride and Prejudice present incomparable portraits of marriageable but discriminating young women, the scoundrels and gentlemen who entrance and confound them, their scheming mothers and hapless fathers—all set in the well-mannered world of early 19th-century British country life. With this collection, fans can enjoy the books anew in audio format. Joanna Lumley, whose Patsy made Absolutely Fabulous a cult hit, aptly showcases the mordant wit of Pride and Prejudice. Anna Massey brings character and vigor to her dramatizations of Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, and Northanger Abbey. Belinda Lang offers a stylish interpretation of Emma, while Harriet Walter evokes Austen in a different mode in her reading of the little-known novella, The Watsons. Musical backgrounds enhance the listener's experience. Abridged.

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