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Biography of Jane Austen

Portrait of Jane Austen

Jane Austen was an eighteenth/nineteenth century novelist.

When and Where was she Born?

16th December 1775. The Rectory at Steventon, Hampshire, England.

Family Background:

Jane Austen was the second daughter of the Reverend George Austen and his wife Cassandra in a family of seven children.


She was educated by her father at home except for boarding schools at Oxford, Southampton and the Abbey School, Reading.

Timeline of Jane Austen:

1790: Jane begins writing stories at home to entertain her family, culminating in the burlesque novel “Love and Friendship”.

1795-97: She writes the first versions of “Northanger Abbey”, “Sense and Sensibility” and “Pride and Prejudice”.

1797: The original version of “Pride and Prejudice” called “First Impressions” is rejected by a publisher in London.

1801: Her father retires and the whole family move to Bath.

1803: The original version of Northanger Abbey”, entitled “Susan” is taken on by a publisher but never released.

1804: Jane starts to write another novel called “The Watsons” but quickly decides not to finish it.

1805: Her father dies.

1808: Her mother and sisters move to Southampton then move into a house in Chawton, Hamphsire, provided by Jane’s well-off brother Edward.

1811: Jane Austen begins revising “Sense and Sensibility” and it is finally published.

1813: The finished version of “Pride and Prejudice” is published.

1814: She starts work on “Emma”.

Jane Austen's last house
House near the Water Meadows in Winchester where Jane Austen spent her last days (copyright Anthony Blagg)
Jane Austen plaque
Details of plaque on house where Austen died (copyright Anthony Blagg)

1816: “Emma” is published and Jane dedicates it to George, The Prince Regent, (Later King George the Fourth) at his request. She also completes the novel “Persuasion”.

1817: Jane begins writing “Sanditon” but cannot finish it due to her major illness. She moves to Winchester to seek medical help and lives in a house near the water meadows, not far from the Cathedral.

When and Where Did she Die?

18th July 1817. Winchester, Hampshire. Jane herself thought she had “bile” or rheumatism but later scholars have suggested either Addison’s Disease, an adrenal disorder, or Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a type of cancer.

Age at Death:


Written Works: (Published Dates)

1811: “Sense and Sensibility”.
1813: “Pride and Prejudice”.
1814: “Mansfield Park”.
1816: “Emma”.
1818: “Northanger Abbey”. “Persuasion”.
(1925): “Sanditon”.


She never married although she had many suitors.

Site of Grave:

North Aisle of the Nave, Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire, England.

Winchester Cathedral (copyright Anthony Blagg)

Places of Interest:  


Holidayed at Sidmouth and Dawlish.


Holidayed in Lyme Regis.


Jane Austen’s House, Chawton, Alton, GU34 15D (only house open to the public).
Winchester City Museum, the Square, Winchester.
House near the Water Meadows, Winchester, where she died. (private house).
Parsonage, Steventon.


No 4 Sydney Place, Bath (lived for three years).
25 Gay Street, Bath (lived there for one year in 1805).
Jane Austen Centre, 40 Gay Street, Bath.
Danced at the Upper Assembly Rooms. Lodged at 13 Queen Square.
Lodged at 23 Green Park Mansions.