Monday, March 15, 2010

March Is Women's History Month

Jane Austen

What is your favorite Jane Austen novel?
What is your favorite movie?
 Pride and Prejudice?
Sense and Sensibility?

I would have to say that I have
never read any of Jane Austen's novels!
I know, I know... I should  read the
whole collection someday
I do have a favorite movie!
It's Pride and Predjudice! 
 I love Mr. Darcy! 
Who wouldn't!
I just loved the whole movie! 
Emma takes a close second  because
I love the storyline, it is so sweet, 
and  Gynweth Paltrow did a great
job playing Emma! I love to watch the movies
because I love looking at all of the beautiful dresses. 
These movies are so well produced and directed,
staying true to that time period in set and costume design. 
 You feel as if you are being taken back in time,
watching the characters as Jane must have
 imagined them when first writing her novels.

Here are some lovely pictures from the Jane Austen movies!


Pride and Prejudice

I just had to get one in of Mr. Darcy!

Sense and Sensibility

to see more of the gowns go to this web site:

After watching the movie about fifty times,
I found the Emma dress patterns on the web and
ordered them for myself and my little girls! 
Of course, you know that I haven't made them
yet but the  material and patterns is in safe keeping..
and maybe one day soon...maybe for Easter!!

Jane Austen was an English novelist whose works of
romantic fiction earned her a place  as one
of the most widely read writers in English Literature.
Jane lived her entire life with her close-knit family
and they strongly supported her dream
to become a professional writer. 
She was educated by her father and two brothers
as well as through her own reading.
 She tried several  literary forms and then
wrote extensively, revising three major novels. 
 From 1811 until 1816,
she had written and pulished four novels 
and achieved success as a published writer.
 In 1818, she had two more novels published and a
third novel but she died before it was completely finished.

                    1811:    Sense and Sensibility
                1813:    Pride an Prejudice
            1814:    Mansfield Park
                 1818:   Northanger Abbey
      1818:    Persuasion

Title pages and illustrations
 from  these novels:

Sense and Sensibility


No Illustrations



Illustration from Northanger Abbey

Illustration from Persuasion

 Jane Austen wrote about the dependence
 of women on marriage to secure a
social standing and economic security.
All of her writing was strongly
 influencedby moral issues of the day. 

During Austen's lifetime,
because she chose to publish anonymously,
her works brought her little personal fame
and only a few positive reviews.
Through the mid-nineteenth century,
her novels were admired mainly
by members of the literary elite.
The publication of her nephew's
A Memoir of Jane Austen in 1869,
 introduced her to a far wider public
which became more interested in her novels.
By the 1940s, Austen had become widely
accepted as a "great English writer".
 In popular culture, a Jane Austen fan culture
 has developed, centered on her life,
 her works, and the various film
and television adaptations of them.

Thomas LeFroy

When Austen was twenty,
she met and fell in-love with Tom Lefroy, 
who visited Steventon from
 December 1795 to January 1796.
He had just finished a university degree
 and was moving to London
to train as a barrister.
Lefroy and Austen were probably
 introduced at a neighbourhood
social gathering and  spent a
considerable amount of time together.
The Lefroy family intervened and
sent him away at the end of January.
 Lefroy and Austen must have known
 that marriage was impractical..
Neither had any money, and he was
dependent on a great-uncle in Ireland
to finance his education and
establish his legal career.
 If Tom Lefroy later visited Hampshire,
 he was carefully kept away from the Austens,
and Jane Austen never saw him again.
This dramatic event in her life inspired 
Jane to write  the novel "Pride and Prejudice".

A watercoler of Jane with her sister, Cassandra

In December 1802,
Austen received her only proposal of marriage.
 She and her sister, Cassandra, visited Alethea and
Catherine Bigg, old friends who lived near Basingstoke.
Their younger brother, Harris Bigg-Wither,
had recently finished his education at
 Oxford and was also at home.  He was the
 heir to extensive family estates located in the area
where the sisters had grown up. With these resources,
Austen could provide her parents a comfortable
old age and assist her brothers in their careers.
By the next morning, Austen realised
she had made a mistake and withdrew her acceptance,
stating that she could  not marry without affection.

Stevenston Rectory
where Jane Austen was born

Early in 1816, Jane Austen began to feel unwell.
She ignored her illness at first and
continued to work and to participate
in the usual round of family activities.
By the middle of that year, her decline was
 unmistakable to Jane and to her family,
and Austen's physical condition began a
long, slow, and irregular deterioration
 culminating in her death the following year.

Jane's home in Chawton where she spent her adult years writing
Jane  continued to work in spite of her illness.
She  made light of her condition to others,
describing it as "Bile" and rheumatism,
but as her disease progressed
she experienced increasing difficulty walking
or finding the energy for other activities.
By mid-April, Austen was confined to her bed.
In May, their brother Henry took Jane to 
 Winchester for medical treatment.

Jane's Brother
Henry Austen

She died in Winchester on
 July 18, 1817, at the age of 41.
 Henry arranged for his sister to be
 buried in the north aisle of the
 nave of Winchester Cathedral.
The epitaph composed by her
 brother James praises Austen's personal
qualities, expresses hope for
 her salvation,and mentions the
"extraordinary endowments of her mind".

Jane's Brother
James Austen

Black silhouette of Jane Austen

A black silhouette of Cassandra Elizabeth Austen
Jane Austen's Sister

A black silhouette of  Cassandra Leigh Austen
Jane Austen's Mother


A lady's imagination is very rapid;
 it jumps from admiration to love,
from love to matrimony in a moment.

Friendship is certainly the finest balm
for the pangs of disappointed love.

If things are going untowardly one month,
they are sure to mend the next.

It sometimes happens that a woman is handsomer
at twenty-nine than she was ten years before.

Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.

Selfishness must always be forgiven you know,
 because there is no hope of a cure.

There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.

 There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.

Those who do not complain are never pitied.
To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.
 What is right to be done cannot be done too soon.

Vanity and pride are different things,
though the words are often used synonymously.
 A person may be proud without being vain.
Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves;
 vanity, to what we would have others think of us.


The 30 free images are in
public domain and offered
at these links:






  1. I love Jane Austen!!! My favorite novel is Pride and Prejudice, and I loved the movie! I have truly lost count of how many times I have seen it! I never tire of it! I also loved the movie, Becoming Jane. ~ Wonderful post, Kymberly! ~~ Have a fabulous day!

  2. Hey Kymberly. I hope your having a beautiful day. I love these dresses. They are just so dreamy. Thanks for posting about Jane and her life what an interesting read and you are so generous with all of us.

    Thanks for coming by to visit this morning. I love reading you comments and post. It's so hard for me to imagine you ever being depressed but like I said I do believe this is part of the affliction of caring so much. An affliction I would rather bare then the alternative. You know I love you and your kind heart and am here for you always.

    I can't wait to hear about your amazing miracles. I bet your whole life is full of them.

    Hugs and love, Tracy :)

  3. Thank you Kymberly for taking the time and trouble to do all the research necessary to put together these inspirational bio's on these wonderful women in history. I truly do appreciate you and all you do. Take care, ~Diane

  4. hai kymberly.. what a lovely things u put it here...
    all your hard works just to give others to share.
    i do appreciate your works dear..keep it up..

    hugs and love.. sirehh

  5. What a fun post! I love Jane. If you love the movie versions....you really need to invest in the Masterpiece Theater versions. They are really beautiful!!! I am really enjoying your blog. Thank you so much for all the pretties! :)


  6. Hi Kymberly, Would you believe I have never seen or read any of these titles?? Boy I sure am missing out on a lot of neat stuff. I'm so glad you posted about these. My husband will be gone this weekend and I'm going to try and rent one of those movies. Hope all is good with you and your family. Many hugs, Carol Mae


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