My sister is in awe of this week’s influential woman. Jane Austen, born in 1775 and died in 1817, was a fantastic author of her time and still amazes readers today. She’s most famous for her novel “Pride and Prejudice” which was adapted into multiple famous movies, one including Keira Knightley. She’s also written “Sense and Sensibility,” “Mansfield Park,” “Northanger Abbey,” and “Persuasion.” She started writing a final book in her lifetime, titled “Sandition” but she never completed it because she passed away after she started writing it. Austen’s novels are often used to inspire cultural arts. She wrote in a notebook that is now considered the “Juvenilia.” It was written in between the years 1787 and 1793. It was in this notebook that she compiled stories essentially mocking popular novels of sensibility, as well as historical texts. Jane wrote rather humorously at some points in her books. In one novel, she mocks the name Richard, saying the man amounted to nothing other than the abbreviation of his name.
Jane was a feminist in her time as well. She proposed many lessons that had female equality within them; such as the fact that you can’t judge women for their choices, to never accept less than you deserve, it’s up to you to chase your own happiness, to have confidence, and to accept that it’s okay to be a work in progress. She also promotes the idea that women should always support other women, and those who take down others emotionally are following the wrong path. She constantly wrote about strong women in her books, and gave young girls in her time the impression that they were just as equal to men. She was similar to Mary Wollstonecraft in that regard, who was the mother of modern feminism. Both ladies promoted self-love for women, and sent the message that girls can do whatever men can do.
Jane Austen is an incredibly talented writer. My sister has all of her books in her room, and constantly urges me to read the author’s craft. The way she writes and the messages she sends alone would cause me to open a book of hers. I admire her courage, because it couldn’t have been easy to be a successful woman in the 18th and 19th centuries. I consider her an incredible influential woman, and so should girls worldwide.
Title from “Dream a Little Dream of Me” by The Mamas and the Papas.