Although Ms. Austen lived a happy and stoic life surrounded by her family and her writing she never married. This fact is almost shocking when looking at such a stunning romantic author. There are many theories surrounding why she never married, some being about her personal beliefs and others surrounding her life situations. “The neighborhood had taken note of their affection, and his aunt intervened to keep the infatuation from compromising either of them. The dance was the last time Austen laid eyes on him.
Lefroy would go on to marry an heiress, return to Ireland, and establish a law practice before ultimately becoming Lord Chief Justice of Ireland. ” (The Mysterious Miss Austen). This snippet of her story shows that just because she never married does not mean that she was not capable of loving. Jane had that pull and that draw to fall in love, but her story never completely worked out to her advantage. In her mid twenties Jane also received a marriage proposal from a man she hardly knew and was far from smitten with, however, she declined because she new her own moral was too great to be married and unhappy rather than alone but settled.
Jane Austen receives her only proposal of marriage from Harris Bigg-Wither, an unattractive and Oxford educated man and childhood friend and heir to a large family estate. Jane accepts the proposal for practical reasons but the next day she withdraws her proposal feeling it must be a mistake. ” (janeausten. org). This strong action shows the courage course of her strong moral and personal standpoints yet it also still supports her lack of love from a man.
These two love related incidents stand as proof that Jane may have put her own desires for love into her writings, especially Persuasion. The book is written in such a way that it takes Sir Loyfe, and transforms him into the story book lover Mister Wentworth, while giving their marriage proposal of Sir Bigg-Wither to create the ideal love story. In total, to the naked eye Austen’s novels seem like nothing out of the ordinary love pattern but after closer analysis it can be seen that her novels were indubitably written after her own longings and self-filled desires.
In the mid-1800s Jane Austen began working on Northanger Abbey, a romance and satire. This may have been written the earliest, but it would be published the last leading to a long journey for this piece of literature and how it affected her life. Northanger Abbey, is a piece that moves throughout Austen’s life, bringing its own challenges, and has characters draw direct parallels with people in her life. Clergy members in both Northanger Abbey and Austen’s own life play significant parts.
Within the first paragraph of her work the father figure is brought up. “Her father was a clergyman, without being neglected, or poor, and a very respectable man, though his name was Richard –and he had never been handsome” (Northanger Abbey 1). This description of Richard is inspired by her own life and could provide some level insight into how she viewed her own father George Austen. “Mr. Austen worked away in the rectory and also tried his hand at farming on the side to earn more money for the growing family” (janeausten. org).
A rectory being a place of a residing parish priest or minister, this matches with the idea of Richard Morland not necessarily being poor and having enough to provide a good life for his family, such as the inspiration for him George Austen then. Though Northanger Abbey is a work of fiction, it can be seen breaking into the seams of reality in the context of her life. Furthering into the description of the lead character Catherine Morland and all of her siblings, undeniably share a similarity with how large Austen’s family itself is.
She had three sons before Catherine was born; and instead of dying in bringing the latter into the world, as anybody might expect she still lived on–lived to have six children more–to see them growing up around her, and to enjoy excellent health herself” (Northanger Abbey 2). Whereas Cassandra Austen(Mrs. Austen), Jane’s mother had “In order of birth, the Austen children were as follows: James, George, Edward, Henry, Cassandra, Francis, Jane, and Charles. ” (janeausten. org). Though Austen’s family was slightly smaller by two people, the similarities are still apparent.
It is clear that at least while writing the first chapter of this book is supposed to have a family that might remind one of Austen’s own. Though this is setting up for the heroine’s journey in this satirical romance, it also sets up for a clear perspective of how Austen sees her own family, how her own journey has impacted how she writes and sees the world around her, during the time she wrote it. In 1798 Jane Austen “probably starts writing ‘Susan’” (Todd xxvi). Though Jane Austen, never published a full book by the name “Susan” she had a short story written similarly. Susan” it is a piece readers are familiar with as Northanger Abbey.
This satire on romance and the wit she used in it, could easily been influenced by the availability she had to books growing up. “Educated only briefly outside of her home, Austen read freely in her father’s library of 500 books, which left her better educated than most young girls of the time” (pbs. org). By having access to literary pieces it helped form the type of writer she would become and the type of pieces she chose to approach. In the summer of 1799 “JA probably finishes ‘Susan’ (Northanger Abbey)” (Todd xxvi)
Austen makes it clear the joy reading brings her, by showing it through Catherine in “Northanger Abbey. ” It could be even said that Catherine is the representation of herself, in a fictional situation that is still close to her own. “Her own delight in reading and her ironic mocking of its impact on young girls comes alive in Northanger Abbey” (pbs. org) This gives even a deeper view into her mind, it shows how she views young girls of the time and how they were treated.
The events in her life impacting that point of view she gives Catherine in the book. ‘And what are you reading. Miss—’ ‘Oh! It is only a novel’ replies the young lady, while she lays down her book with affected indifference, or momentary shame” ( Northanger Abbey 26). This shows the type of environment Austen feels she grew up in and lived in, one where book reading was something to be ashamed of, in spite of that she still became a novelist and active reader, but surprisingly even though the manuscript was sold in 1802, it wasn’t something someone could actively read for a long time.
Although she felt ready to sell her first manuscript in 1802, what was then known as “Susan” wouldn’t be provided to the masses? “Northanger Abbey, was sold to Crosbie of London for L 10. The Gothic novel which parodied was still too popular for Miss Austen’s treatment of it to be appreciated and Crosbie failed to publish” (Wilson Company). Since it was failed to publish, though it came first in her attempts of being an official author-it would not succeed. During the time between this misstep and it actually being published several events would take place.
Only three years after trying to get “Susan” published her father George Austen would pass away. This would leave “his wife and daughters with an income of only L 210 a year between them. This was raised by the brothers to L 450, a sum barely adequate in a day when living costs were high” (Wilson Company). Due this she would end up moving to the household of her brother Francis Austen, who was not at home causing some discontent within those walls. Feeling that discomfort would lead to a time period, where Jane was not writing.
It would be until 1811 that she would have a published piece, that was an immediate success and even then “Northanger Abbey” wasn’t in the picture. In 1808 she would move in with her wealth brother Edward Austen, being more comfortable in this household she would pick up writing again. “… She wrote, almost as if she knew her time was short, Mansfield Park, Emma, and Persuasion in rapid succession” (Wilson Company). With her sudden success, it was a clear path for a book once lost in a publishing companies hands would be published soon enough. Northanger Abbey” went through several change, specifically in title before its time to be published came. “If the Northanger Abbey of 1817 is not exactly the Susan of 1803, and probably not the Catherine of 1809 or later, the most obvious difference to comment on is the title” (Copeland, McMaster 23).
Though it went through its changes, at the core it remained the same book she first wrote and could not originally get published, but would finally be published after several successes. Conspicuously, this is the work of a writer whose confidence in her entitlement to publish flows from knowing immersion in all the varieties of modern fiction, and from a sharp sense of the weakness or absurdities of each. ” (Copeland, McMaster 27). Even before Austen became a success, there is a sense of her want and almost right to be published. Though “Northanger Abbey” wasn’t the first success and took her brother buying it back for her for it to be published, it shows both a starting point and ending point in her career. It provides a clear path for how she got from point A, to point B in her life.
Northanger Abbey, is a piece that moves throughout Austen’s life, bringing its own challenges, and has characters draw direct parallels with people in her life. Fiction often replicates a person’s life, for Jane Austen she made it that way more than not. In the early 1800s she would start work on Northanger Abbey and finish it in the mid-1800s, a book that was both equal parts satirical and romantic, to show her true view of the world. The world of literature that surrounds and influences everyday life is certainly one of a mystical accord.
Austen proves to have both devoted her life to her work and vice versa giving Austen’s works an admirable quality that is not typically found in other works of classic literature. Austen’s life is shown through both large and small details alike showcasing her love of everything Austen and everything literary. Therefore bringing into view the conclusion that Austen’s books were in fact written and designed as a reflective image of her life giving the lasting impression that her books were indeed more so fact into fiction than they were as anything else.