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Emma, Jane Austen's

About the Story

Emma, Jane Austen's

English novelist Jane Austen (1775-1817) never married and lived with her family for most of her life. Austen had six brothers and one sister and was educated primarily at home and by reading books. By the age of 12, Austen was writing poems, stories, and plays to amuse her family. At 20, Austen met Tom Lefroy, who was a nephew of one of her neighbors. The two spent much time together, but the Lefroy family intervened and sent him away, and Jane never saw him again. Austen received her only marriage proposal in 1802 from Harris Bigg-Wither, who was considered quiet and unattractive. At first, Austen agreed to marry him but promptly changed her mind the next morning. Austen’s novels are known for their realism, biting social commentary, and comic elements. Emma was published in 1815 and was the fourth and last of Austen’s novels published during her lifetime. Austen is best know for her romantic novels Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Mansfield Park, all of which have become literary classics.