You know the saying “Dance like there’s nobody watching, love
Jane Austen is one of the few classic writers that is still extraordinarily influential in modern times. Austen’s novels have been the basis for numerous motion pictures, TV series, and even an anime series. Here are a few fun and little-known facts about this classic author:
1. She completed six novels in her lifetime, four of which were published before her death. The original versions of Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey were all finished by the time Austen was 23.
2. When she was very young she caught typhus and nearly died.
3. She was the seventh of eight children. She had six brothers and a sister, Cassandra, with whom she was very close.
4. Her father, George Austen, was a clergyman and ran a school for boys out of the family’s house.
5. Her mother, Cassandra Lee Austen, was of a higher social standing than that of her father and it is believed that her family and previous lifestyle with the basis for many of Austen’s novels.
6. Austen acquired her knowledge of life at sea (which is featured in her novel Persuasion) from her brother Frank, who was an officer in the British Navy.
7. Though Austen was never married she, had a tumultuous love life. Her first notable love was Tom Lefroy, cousin to her dear friend Anne Lefroy. When and Anne learned of their romance she quickly rushed her cousin out of the country for fear that he would be disinherited for marrying below his station.
8. While vacationing with her family in Devon, Austen met and fell instantly in love with a young clergyman. Though the two made plans for the young man to meet up with the rest of the family later on in their travels he tragically died before he could meet them. This tragic event strengthens the bond between Austen and her sister Cassandra, having lost a fiancé earlier that year herself.
9. Around 1816, Austen came down with an extremely painful illness that was never diagnosed. Historians have speculated that this disease could be anything from Addison’s disease ( a rare disease of the kidneys) to Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Cassandra was by her side when she passed away in 1817.