It is a truth universally acknowledged…..
Probably the most famous beginning line from a novel of all time.
Jane Austen was born December 16, 1775 in Steventon, United Kingdom. She only lived into her forties, passing away on July 18, 1817, but in her four short decades she wrote some of the worlds most beloved literature.
She has become so loved over the two centuries that her works have graced us, that she has even garnered a star in Hollywood. There are many libraries throughout the world who has entire literary collections on Jane Austen. That is pretty spectacular for a woman who only published six complete novels, some of which were published after her death. In the United Kingdom, she has received her face on postal stamps and soon to come, the 10 pound British note.
Part 1: Basics
This pathfinder is meant for high school and college age students who are studying literary romance and/or British classical literature.
The focus of this pathfinder is on one of the most well known female novelist of all time, Jane Austen. This pathfinder reviews Jane Austen’s work and the effect her work has had through the years.
Part 2: Written Resources
- Reference Books
A Guide to Jane Austen by Michael Hardwick is a book all about the life and works of Jane Austen. The contents of the book include an introduction and information about Jane Austen’s life and information about Jane Austen’s characters and her works. The book goes through each of Jane Austen’s works giving information about publication and content. It is a good guide for researching information on Jane Austen all in one place.
Hardwick, M. (1973). A Guide to Jane Austen. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
Jane Austen in Her Time is a good book for finding information on Jane Austen and her life. It only very lightly touches on her works and instead keeps the primary focus on what her world was like. This book touches on everyday tasks and her relations. Finding out about the time an author lived in will help a reader better comprehend the context of their writings.
Craik, W.A. (1969). Jane Austen in Her Time. London: Thomas Nelson and Sons LTD.
Readings on Jane Austen is a literary companion for researchers. It is a collection of articles written about Jane Austen’s work. Some of the article titles are Austen’s Women in a Conservative Society, Games as a Device in Austen’s Novels and Good Manners Mirror Good Morals in Pride and Prejudice. The articles could be of good use to a students looking for a place they could locate a good amount of information at once.
(1997). Readings on Jane Austen: The Greenhaven Press Literary Companion to British Authors. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press.
Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts is an article published in the Journal of Victorian Culture reviewing Jane Austen’s works. It however is not only a review of her works but a digitization of her novels so that they are freely available for everyone. This was an extensive project that includes all of Jane Austen’s writings, not just her novels but her juvenilia and short stories also. This was “undertaken as a collaboration between Oxford University and King’s College London, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and completed under the direction of” several members of the prospective colleges (426). It is a project that offers ready access to any research or reader alike.
Schlitz, S. (2011). Review of Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts. Journal of Victorian Culture, 16, 426-431.
What Jane Austen Knew About Class is an article that discusses the class issue as addressed throughout Jane Austen’s works. The article accentually says that Austen’s work speak to use because the same issues that we still deal with everyday are addressed fluently in a time period that is two hundred years old. The issue of social class in timeless. “Two centuries later, we feel similarly,” is just the point this writer is trying to get at (52). The shear ability to relate to Jane Austen’s works is what keeps her in the heart of us all.
Trollope, J. (2013). What Jane Austen Knew About Class. New Statesman, 52-53.
Jane Austen at Home is an article discussing the house that Jane Austen lived in while writing. Chawton House is not the famous house that has been turned into a museum in Jane’s honor. It is lesser-known yet still gets visitors. This article discusses what life was mostly likely like for Jane Austen growing up in the quite little town and the differences in this small town life in comparison to Bath.
Huntley, D. (2009). Jane Austen at Home. British Heritage, 24-27.
- Other (magazines)
Jane Austen’s Regency World is a branch of the earlier mentioned, Jane Austen Centre. It is primarily a magazine dedicated to Jane Austen and all things Regency Era. It also offers current event news on anything and everything Austen related.
(2014). Jane Austen’s Regency World. Retrieved from http://janeaustenmagazine.co.uk/
Part 3: Online Resources
- Web sites
The Jane Austen Centre is everything Jane Austen. It is located in Bath, the town where Jane Austen lived. This website is split into three different main categories; the world of Jane Austen, Jane Austen in Bath, and the online giftshop. Each of these categories contains a plethora of links with information about Jane Austen and the world in which she lived. There is a Jane Austen Magazine and newsletter you can subscribe to through the site. They host a yearly Jane Austen Festival which is 10 days long and helps the attendee completely immerse themselves Jane’s world. The offer walking tours of Bath and have a Regency Tea Room; both of which helps you experience life in the Regency Era. The online gift shop offers relics for Austen fans as well as costume options for the ball held during the festival.
(2014). The Jane Austen Centre. Retrieved from http://www.janeausten.co.uk/
The Jane Austen Society of North America or JASNA for short, is the main center for Austen fans in North America. The site offers a brief biography on Jane Austen, as well as group meetings, newsletters and annual balls just to name a few. JASNA is much more than just a website, it is a members group, a place to gather with other people who share in a love of Jane Austen. There are many sections to this site; news and events, regional groups, Austen on film, merchandise and group information. JASNA offers an essay contest which grants the winner a scholarship and links to professional publications on Jane Austen. This site is packed full of information of all kinds, including modern day usage of Austen’s books as most have been turned into numerous motion pictures. JASNA is a non-profit organization with over 4500 members. They host conferences and take tour groups to England to explore Jane Austen’s homeland. The site is really well laid out and easy to follow, with plenty of clickable links for research.
(2014). The Jane Austen Society of North America. Retrieved from http://www.jasna.org/info/about_austen.html
The Republic of Pemberley is a group for Jane Austen fans from all over the world. This site is primary a social site to meet and discuss Jane Austen’s work. There are different boards or chat rooms that are titled for each of her novels, where people can discuss Jane’s work as well as act scenes out. They also have other chat rooms available for true literary discussions that would be ideal for a research trying to gain the perspective of an Austen aficionado. There is also an event page for upcoming Austen related events and an information page on the life of Jane Austen.
(2014). The Republic of Pemberley. Retrieved from http://www.pemberley.com/
The Jane Austen Literary Festival is a fairly new festival held in Mandeville, Louisiana. This is was their seventh Jane Austen festival and every year the festivals have been geared towards writing. They hold a letter writing contest each year to help build up writing skills. The group also holds letter writing workshops and lectures on Austen’s work.
(2014). The Jane Austen Literary Festival. Retrieved from http://www.janeaustenfestival.org/
The Jane Austen Society of the United Kingdom is a fan based group for Austen fans living in the United Kingdom. They host society events, newsletters, and branches and group meetings. They host annual conferences and visits to Jane Austen’s house. The Jane Austen Society of the United Kingdom also host annual talks and national events. They also put out a newsletter and have plenty of informational links for researching. They also host literary debates and offer classes on Jane Austen and her time.
(2014). The Jane Austen Society of the United Kingdom. Retrieved from http://www.janeaustensoci.freeuk.com/
Jane Austen’s House Museum is the official museum of Jane Austen. It is actually contained in one of Jane Austen’s homes. It is more than just a museum, they host events and workshops teaching people all about Jane Austen. They help to maintain her legacy and keep it for real in the eyes of those who love her. They also work with local schools in the area of creative writing and have special programs for those students who are gifted in writing. It is a great place to truly learn all about Austen, right in her own home.
(2014). Jane Austen’s House Museum. Retrieved from http://www.jane-austens-house-museum.org.uk
Chawton House Library is the library and the gardens of the Austen family. It is primarily a charity that focuses on education through literature. The libraries collection is mostly women’s writings from 1600 through 1830. They host a short story award and lectures. The library houses much of the genealogy materials on the Austen family which would be invaluable for research.
(2014). Chawton House Library. Retrieved from http://www.chawton.org/
Austenprose is a blog that is all about Jane Austen, her works, her life and everything that has come up out of her world as a result of her works. It is primarily written by the famous author Laurel Ann Nattress as well as the other contributors to the book Jane Austen Made Me Do It, which is a collection of stories about the silly things people have done because of the influence Jane Austen has had on their lives. This blog does not only discuss all things Austen in detail but it also gives real reviews of works by other authors writing in the genre of Austen related fiction.
(2014). Austenprose. Retrieved from http://austenprose.com/
b. Other (if applicable – like videos or podcasts)
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is an online vodcast through Youtube that follows the life a girl who calls herself 'Lizzie Bennet' that suffers through many of the same issues the Elizabeth Bennet in Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice dealt with. The twist to the vodcast is that it is set in modern day and time yet it points out how similar the main issues truly are even though they are two hundred years apart. The two main people in the vodcast even have a book that is coming soon. That information is available here: http://lizziebennetbook.com
Su, B. (2014). The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/user/LizzieBennet/featured
Part 4: Summary
I chose to do my pathfinder on Jane Austen because she is my all time favorite author. She inspires me in so many ways and I hope to someday write like her. I believe she writes about life in such a way that remains relatable after all these years, not only to those few hopeless romantic girls but to people in all walks of life. Jane Austen’s works are often an assigned topic in both high school and college literature classes so I figured what better way to join something I love with helping others search for a needed school topic.
-Citations have been made throughout this document and the pictures used here were also used from the cited websites included.