Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Last Nod to Women's History Month


I was in a quandary. Those of you who have been reading this blog for quite some time most surely know of my love of Jane Austen and her work, so I was uncomfortable about the possibility of rhapsodizing yet again about her brilliance in capturing the world around her and her most excellent wit upon the chance you might grow weary with me.

However, Miss Austen ranks fourteenth on Biography Online’s list of “50 Women Who Changed the World” for paving the way for future women writers. I would be remiss, if I did not mention her in some way for this last segment for Women’s History Month.

So, instead of writing a biography or analyzing her writing style, here are ten interesting facts about dear Miss Austen.

The original title of Pride and Prejudice was First Impressions.

The necklaces worn by Jane and Elizabeth Bennet in the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle are modeled after topaz crosses that were worn by Jane and her sister, Cassandra.

Miss Austen’s brother, Frank, was knighted as Sir Francis Austen, after a long career in the British Navy, in which he worked his way up from midshipman at age fourteen to admiral.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Sense and Sensibility


When she was sixteen, Jane Austen wrote a parody of Goldsmith’s four-volume History of England, for which she penned this byline: “By a partial, prejudiced, & ignorant historian...N.B. There will be very few dates in this history.”

Jane Austen fanatics are known as “Janeites.”

There is only one known portrait of Miss Austen, a watercolor painted by Cassandra. It hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London (above).

The Jane Austen Society of America has more than 4,000 members.

There is a locket of her hair on display in Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton, Hampshire, England.

The barouche Lady Catherine de Bourgh offers to Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice is a four-wheel carriage with a fold-up hood at the back and two inside seats facing each other. It was the height of sophistication for fancy carriages during the first half of the 19th century, the Rolls Royce of its day, I dare say.

3 comments:

Louise Gallagher said...

Lighter maybe. But so filled with wonderful insight into an inspiring woman!

thanks for visiting my space and leaving a comment. I'll be back!

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

Thanks for stopping by, Louise.

marina delvecchio said...

Love this, Karen. Jane Austen is my favorite author next to C. Bronte. Didn't know any of the facts you included. Very unique and creative post. I'm teaching apostrophes in my classes this weekend and plan on using your grammar piece. Good stuff. Thanks for visiting my blog today also.