A is for Austen


It’s the start of the A-Z Challenge today. If you’re not quite sure what that is click the link above πŸ™‚

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I thought id start off with a great writer who everyone knows…. Jane Austen

Born in 1775 in Hampshire England, she is the earliest of the writers I’ll be looking at over the course of April. With no real formal education, Austen started to write poems and short stories when she was 12 and published her first piece of work at the age of 19.

Its incredible to think that at the age of 36 she would have had no idea that by publishing Sense and Sensibility she was about to become one of the most well known and widely read writers of English Literature, ever!

Her observation on social behaviour features heavily in her work and has meant that she has become an important writer amongst critics and historians. Her novels are witty observations of the lives of the middle and upper classes of Georgian Britain.

Sadly, she died at the age of 42, but fortunately for the world with 6 timeless novels for us to enjoy.

My Favourite Jane Austen Quotes:

β€œAn artist cannot be slovenly.”

β€œThe person, whether it be a gentleman or a lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” OUCH!

β€œLife is a quick succession of busy nothings.”

β€œNothing ever fatigues me, but doing what I do not like.”

β€œFor my own part, if a book is well written, I always find it too short.”

In my opinion, Jane Austen was, is, the mother of chick lit, so I find myself asking…why the hell have I never read any of her work? The problem is that I feel I know it so well already, from the numerous TV adaptations and films that already exist. There have even been books and films written about people reading Austen! πŸ˜‰

So are you an Austen fan? Or do you wonder what all the fuss is about?

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69 thoughts on “A is for Austen

  1. I like Jane Austen although I must admit she’s not one of my favorites. Congrats on getting an early start on the A-Z Challenge. Last year I visited every single participant’s blog and that’s my goal for this year, too. One down….

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    • Thanks Thelma πŸ™‚

      Wow, go you! I try to visit a couple every day, but looking at how many participants there are this year I may have to up that lol

      Thanks for stopping by honey xx

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  2. Like you, I have seen many of film adaptations rather than read any of her work. If the films are anything to go by, her work is timeless and should be fussed over. Excellent way to start the A-Z Challenge! Thanks for this. (Your blog is my first visit for A-Z, so I hope I covered all bases here) Cheers!

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  3. I love Jane Austen, although I’ve only read 3 of her books (I enjoyed Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility, thought Emma was less interesting). Pride and Prejudice has been one of my favorites for years. Great post!

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  4. Hmm, it may be semi-sacrilegious, but I’ve not read nor seen anything based off of Austen’s work. I hear a LOT about Pride and Prejudice, though. More so the movie adaptation(s) than anything else.

    Not wanting to simply look it up, but I was curious if Austen was a writer who’s work never reached high status until after passing? I know that seems to have been the path for a handful of classic authors/poets. Maybe I am mistaken.

    Good luck with the challenge!

    Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink

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    • Well I’m glad to hear I’m not alone Jak in not reading Austen, but wow….you haven’t seen any films either? Oh you are so in for a treat when you do! πŸ™‚

      That is true Jak. She published under a mans name initially (because in those days women didn’t DO that kind if thing) and it wasn’t until after her death that she achieved real “success” 😦

      Thank you honey, and thanks for stopping by xx

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    • No she was popular in her own time and has remained popular ever since. Her books are funny and her characters likeable, but the best part of her charm now is that she was so good at creating a background that they are perfect period pieces.

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  5. The first A to Z post I have read of the season. Great start Vikki. I am with you, I love Jane Austen. Have seen the movies, but I don’t think I have read any of them. I am going to put a few on my to read list. As a writer of chick lit, I should probably read the creator of my genre.

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    • Awwwww, I am honoured Sydney πŸ™‚

      Thank heavens I’m not alone….I was beginning to think I was unusual lol

      Oh, definitely! But I don’t know about you, which one to read first?????? Lol

      Thanks honey xx

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  6. Great post and I love the idea of the A to Z challenge. I don’t think I have the discipline to do it every day. But I think the idea and prompts are great seeing as I’m having writer’s block lately for my blog posts! What better way to get inspiration than A to Z!

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    • Thanks Leah πŸ™‚

      It is hard work, but I learnt last year to use Sundays to get a couple of days ahead πŸ˜‰

      Totally agree about helping when you’re blocked. Last year I did 26 characters, all with their own stories.

      Thanks honey xx

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  7. Great post Vikki but do read Austen, she’s worth it. Stick with the first few pages because it is hard to get used to sentences that were constructed 200 years when a novel was precious and the last thing the reader wanted was flash fiction. But stick with it for the characters and her sense of humour and all the reasons why a book can do things that a film or TV script can’t. I’ve been looking around the A to Z list and a lot of folk aren’t up yet….!!!
    (Is Z going to be Zola? Absolutely love him)

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    • Thanks Bridget,

      I will definitely be adding one of her novels to my list πŸ™‚

      Ha ha ha, all my posts get scheduled the night before for 2am lol

      Damn, you got me there….yes, Zola will be “Z” πŸ˜‰

      Xx

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  8. I don’t agree that Jane Austin is the mother of chic-lit. To me she’s the mother of romantic fiction. Jane Austin’s books, like many other writers from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are rich in description and prose (often too purple for modern readers), with wonderful places and characters drawn from Jane’s imagination. β€œNothing ever fatigues me, but doing what I do not like.” is my favourite quote.

    Interesting and thought provoking post Vikki. I’m going to get a Jane Austin, and read a little this afternoon, to remind myself what a great writer she was.

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  9. Great post! Good to see you started with the best and I will certainly be back for more. I just have to say please, do read at least one of Austen’s novels – you must. You just don’t get the full flavour of the delightful and witty language from the films, no matter how well they are made. My favourite is Persuasion, though I would probably recommend starting with Pride and Prejudice. Knowing it so well will enhance the reading pleasure – that’s a promise πŸ™‚

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  10. I started reading one of her books – not S&S or P&P – at about 14 and couldn’t get on with it. I then ‘decided’ I didn’t like Jane Austen until a friend expressed horror at this about 10 years ago and insisted I try again. Break yourself in with Pride and Prejudice, Vikki – it’s just the best, most entertaining book! πŸ™‚ (PS – I just started Emotional Geology and can’t put it down!)

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  11. My knowledge of writers is dreadful. Like you I feel I know the books from the adaptations. Want to read them too now. I seem to have missed a great film too! Good luck with AtoZ from a nearby virtual neighbour on the challenge..(6 below)

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  12. I love Jane Austen! I had to do a book report in high school on Pride and Prejudice, and I fell in love with her writing. If I had never been forced into it, I doubt I would have read any of her work. I must have been sick because we had to choose from a list of books and by the time I got to choose, it was one of the only ones left. I thought I would hate it. You simply must make time to read it – no film adaptation can quite do it justice! Thanks for sharing!

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  13. I’ll probably be really unpopular with some Jane Austen fans here, but I really find her books boring. I’m not somebody who’s into gossip, social game-playing, or flirtation. In the three books of hers that I’ve read, most the females are such ninnies and noddle-heads. I know that in those days their main aim was to find a husband, as they were considered a burden to their parents and a failure if they ended up spinsters, but they’re just all so annoying.
    I’ve quite enjoyed the movies and tv serialisations of her books, but still I get cross with all the snobbery and the mothers pushing their daughters forward all the time.
    Did you see the serialisation on telly several years ago, called “Lost In Austen”? Now that I did enjoy. It was modern girl going back in time and meeting Mr Darcy. It was so cool, funny, and strangely romantic.

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    • Ha ha ha, awwwwww, Sarah….well, as I’ve never read one I can’t comment πŸ˜‰

      And THAT’S why I THINK she’s the mother of chick lit! πŸ™‚ When chick lit first arrived on the scene that was all it was about…20+ woman trying to find a husband lol

      Ooooo, no, I didn’t! Wow, that sounds great! Will look it up, thanks honey πŸ™‚

      Xx

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  14. Glad you chose Jane as your A and the start of A to Z. I read through her complete works every few years. Her ability to pull out attributes or flaws in people is classic. Have a fun month

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  15. Well I must admit I’ve never read her work though a cheap tablet I bought had one of her novels in the book section, perhaps I’ll read it now. Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

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  16. Jane Austen is one of the reasons I keep wishing I could find more time to read. Her facility with language astounds me, and her characters are unforgettable. If you liked the movies, I think you’ll love the books! You owe it to yourself to check them out. Start with Pride and Prejudice. It never gets old. πŸ™‚

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  17. Oh my! I’m still on letter A for 4 more hours and you’re already on letter B. I do like Jane Austen, although I’ve only read a couple of her works. I love all the movies though a ton. Love all your quotes. Now I have to go read B before I go to bed.

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  18. I have to say I’m with Sarah on this one- I find Jane a bit dull. That said, it’s different strokes for different folks- we’re lucky to live in a world with so much room for all different genres and authors.

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  19. I have to agree with Sarah, unfortunately- Jane is a bit dull to me. But that said, different strokes for different folks! we’re lucky to live in a world with so many different genres- something for everyone! πŸ™‚

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  20. I was lucky enough to do Pride & Prejudice as a school book with a teacher who was passionate about her subject and very droll herself so she inspired her class of spotty teenagers with a delight in the book. I’ve read it maybe as many as 20 times in the (many) years since. Not so much the others, in fact one or two are downright dull but P&P is I believe the best-selling book of its type ever, and deservedly so. I’m gobsmacked to see how many in this comment thread haven’t read it! .

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  21. Love love love Jane Austen, she is my all time fav author. She’s got to be brilliant we share the same birthday, so there’s a few hundred of years between us, but what’s a few years between friends πŸ™‚ “gush” yeah she’s ok πŸ˜‰

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  22. I have always been a fan but she’s more than that for me. It was motherless Emma that raised me in my own motherless state. I learned so much from Jane, things I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

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