Jane Austen (December 16, 1775 - Winchester, July 18, 1817) was an English writer.
Jane Austen was born in Steventon to father George Austin (who was a parish priest) and Cassandra Austin (maiden name Lee; 1739-1827). She remained attached to Steventon all her life, never marrying. She had six brothers and an older sister, Cassandra, with whom she was very close. The only portrait we know of Jane Austen looks like a poorly painted sketch made by her sister and now housed in a museum in London. Her brothers Francis and Charles joined the Navy, where they both rose to the rank of admiral. She received her primary education at a girls' school in 1783; first to Oxford, then to Southampton. From 1785 to 1786 she attended the girls' school in Reading. Jane Austen received an above-average education compared to that given to girls in her time, so she devoted herself to writing early and published her first story in 1789.
Jane's life was relatively boring, without any special events. In 1801, her family moved to Bath, and life in Bath visibly influenced her later works. In 1802, Jane received a marriage proposal from a rich but also "big and clumsy" man named Harris Big-Wieder, who was six years younger than her. Such a marriage would secure her future and freed her from the epithet "settler" who must rely on her family. Jane agreed, but soon changed her mind because she did not love her future husband. "Everything can be endured and endured, but marriage without love cannot," she wrote in a letter to her niece. After her father's death in 1805, Jane, her mother and sister moved to Southampton with their brother Francis and his family, where they lived for four years, until 1809, when they moved to Choton, where they lived for a time on her brother's estate. Today, that house is a museum and is open to the public.
In Choton, Jane lived peacefully with her family. In 1816, her health deteriorated. Today, she is thought to have had Addison's disease, the cause of which was unknown. The disease occasionally subsided and finally worsened in 1817 to the point that Jane had to travel to Winchester. She died there two months later (July 18, 1817) and was buried in Winchester Cathedral.
Jane published her works