Many similarities to her novels. Father a clergyman, gentry class but not rich. Jane lived mainly in country. Did not marry or have career.
Pride and Prejudice (Grades 9–1)
Austen’s first readers from similar background. Attitude to books can help to define character. Influence of eighteenth-century novel-in-letters and Romantic movement (Elizabeth longs to visit Lake District).
England at war with France, early years of Industrial Revolution but Jane Austen writes only about things she has observed herself. Completely accurate period detail.
Everyone in middle/upper classes seems to know everyone else’s income. Women without own money must ‘trade’ themselves in marriage. Higher social status is given to income from land than from trade.
Characters drawn from narrow section of society – gentry, clergy, lower aristocracy. Few working-class people included. Characters seen at leisure not work – a novel of ‘manners’.