Jane Austen

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One of the most famous authors of the romantic period was Jane Austen. Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775 at Stevenson, Hampshire, England. Austen was the seventh of eight children born to Reverend George and Cassandra Austen. Her father was the local rector at the parish in Stevenson for many years. Reverend Austen made a reasonably good income and was able to provide for his family. Austen's mother was known for her sense of humor and her skills in the garden (Austen1).

Austen's family influenced her life and help shaped who she was. Her eldest brother, James was ten years her senior. He studied the ministry and took over his father's position after he retired. Little is known about her second brother George. Austen's third brother, Edward, was adopted by Thomas and Catherine Knight and raised as their heir. Henry, Austen's fourth and favorite among her brothers, served as an officer in the militia, worked as a banker, went through bankruptcy, and finally ended up a curate. Austen's fifth brother, Francis, and baby brother, Charles, both became naval officers and later, admirals. Cassandra, Austen's only sister, was her best friend and most trustworthy confidante (www.pemberley.com 3; Austen 1)

Another influential person in Austen's life was her older cousin Elizabeth. Elizabeth studied in Paris and married a Frenchman. By 1794 she was widowed and had

moved back to England and three years later was married to Henry Austen. Jane most likely learned about life outside the Hampshire countryside from her cousin (Austen 1). Austen grew up like any other girl during this time period. She enjoyed going to social events such as parties and dances. She also enjoyed going to London, where she attended plays and such (www.pemberley.com).

Austen's formal education was short-lived. She attended school, with her sister, in Oxford and then in Southampton, where they were tutored by one of their aunts, Mrs. Cawley

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