Friday Favorites: Jane Austen

Friday Favorites is a weekly meme hosted here, that spotlights a favorite author, book, series, publisher, cover, blog, etc. Basically whatever bookish thing that you love, recommend, and want to tell others about. Just pick one and link up to my post each Friday to share. You can use the graphic I used above, the other one here, or your own.

Today I am featuring a classic. I will intersperse these among current-day books and authors as I can. I am a huge fan of the classics and I do believe that everyone can find at least one that they will enjoy and can relate to. I also think that classics challenge our minds and help us be better thinkers, readers, and writers. If you've read Dickens then you should understand what I mean. :)

Today I'm going to spotlight one of my favorite Classic Romance authors and one many of you love, Jane Austen. I'm sure all of you know who she is and probably most of you have read at least one of her books. My favorite is Pride and Prejudice, of course, but I have enjoyed all of the ones I've read of hers. I do have a couple that I still need to read. Most, if not all, of her books you can also download in ebook format for free, so they are widely available. If that doesn't work for you there are also many film adaptations and spin-off novels.

PersuasionEmmaMansfield ParkLady Susan

Why Austen is a favorite:

I love her wit! I love how she threw social convention and expectations out there and then challenged them. A lot of the time she made fun of them and of her characters and their prejudices or expectations. She also allowed them to change. Sometimes her characters still accept the social norm, but not until they have undergone some internal change and have been made better for it.

Northanger Abbey pretty much cracks me up throughout the entire novel. The heroine is quite silly and has these ideas and perceptions that definitely fit in for the time, but which honestly are ridiculous. Yet, she learns from her mistakes and finds herself.

Northanger Abbey

I love how in Pride and Prejudice Lizzy is so very blunt and honest with Darcy. She even is borderline rude and mean. The banter between those two in the book is just fabulous! I love how they challenge each other, but in the end neither is completely right.

Pride and Prejudice

In Sense and Sensibility you have several characters who contrast rather sharply with each other and are i different social and financial standings. Oh, I love that book. There is quite a bit of heartache, but also forgiveness, and love, and joy.

Sense and Sensibility

Really I think I love Austen the most because she makes me laugh, sigh, and cry. She has described human emotions so well in her characters and their experiences and I relate to them as I read her books.

I also love her for her courage to write, especially as a woman and during her time. Most women were never taken seriously. She was, to an extent, and was even honored by royalty. It just makes me grateful that she chose to write. I wish she would have found a happier ending, but maybe she did.

About the Author
(from Goodreads) 

Jane Austen

Jane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) 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 (1816), 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.

Do you have a favorite to share this week?

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