Widgets December 16 ~ Everything Nourishes Jane Austen Book Club

"Everything nourishes what is strong already." ~ Jane Austen

jane austen

A novelist who nourished readers with the creation of unforgettable characters, British author Jane Austen (17751817) was born on this day in the quiet village of Hampshire.

The daughter of a parish minister, young Jane was fluent in French and Spanish and had a passion for books and reading. She was encouraged to write.

"Imagination is everything," she wrote, inpired by the warmth of her beloved countryside.

Her seven novels--Pride and Prejudice (1813), Sense and Sensibility (1811), Mansfield Park (1814), Emma (1816), Northanger Abbey (1818), Persuasion (1818) and the partial Lady Susan--have grown more popular with time.

At the heart of each book, Austen had created a remarkable heroine: a woman of integrity who was intelligent, generous, practical, and kind. With a masterful pen, she captured the life of English gentry with honesty, wit, and skill.

"The memory is sometimes so retentive, so serviceable, so obedient--at others, so bewildered and so weak--and at others again, so tyrannic, so beyond control," she once said.

Ironically, Austen published her works anonymously during her lifetime. Her books have never been out of print since. Her popularity spiked following numerous recent television and film adaptations of her works. Suddenly, it's all about Jane.

"We live in a Jane Austen universe," explained Washington Post writer Jennifer Frey in September 2004. "We can buy Pride and Prejudice, the board game, and Jane Austen paper dolls."

What would the mild-mannered Ms. Austen say of such 21st century fame? Perhaps modestly she would echo her own words: "Nothing is more deceitful than the appearance of humility. It is often only carelessness of opinion and sometimes an indirect boast."

More Jane AUSTEN Quotations

keep your heart openOur strength is our nourishment.