Sensible Facts About Jane Austen, The Queen of Irony

"Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves; vanity, to what we would have others think of us." - Jane Austen

Jane Austen was an English author from the Georgian era, best known for balancing romance, biting irony, and astute social commentary in her written works. She was born on December 16, 1775 in Steventon, Hampshire, England, where her father was a rector (preacher) in a rural community. Her novels grew in popularity towards the latter half of the 19th century, with Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma all considered literary classics.

Pick up your quill and fasten your bonnet: here are 46 sensible facts about the inimitable Jane Austen.

Jane Austen Facts

1. Seven of Eight

Jane Austen was the seventh of eight children, with six brothers and just one sister. Even with so many children, the family was said to be extremely tight-knit. Austen enjoyed especially close relationships with her father and her sister Cassandra.

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2. Love of Learning

Luckily for Austen, her father was a scholar who had no problem allowing his daughters to learn.

While Austen's formal education at boarding school primarily consisted of feminine studies such as French, music, and dancing, her real education came from the extensive collection of literature that her father kept in his library.

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3. A Woman of Standing

Like the happy couples in many of Jane Austen's novels, her parents came from different class backgrounds.

Austen’s mother Cassandra Leigh had aristocratic roots and was related to Lord Leigh of Stoneleigh Abbey, as well as the first Duke of Chandos, and the prestigious Wentworth family.

Technically, marrying George Austen, a clergyman was a step down, but she was reportedly happy, so what did it matter?

Jane Austen Facts