Even though British novelist Jane Austen departed this world on July 18, 1817, her popularity seems to increase with every generation. As a self-educated female, Jane’s wit and gift of writing aptly matched her precocious intellect. Even so, Jane Austen’s readers may not realize that she struggled to see her name in print.
As a lover of words and ideas, the novelist grew up writing stories suitable to contemporary society. Prior to the publication of “Pride and Prejudice” when she was 35 years old, Jane wrote about a shoplifting teenager named Cassandra. She also wrote about teenage girls who loved to drink wine.
Unfortunately, the author’s real-life sister, also called Cassandra, burned most of Jane’s private letters. Consequently, people do not have details about Jane Austen’s private thoughts and life. However, it is known that Jane loved to visit local shops. Jane was often seen on Old Bond Street where she enjoyed drinking tea at Twinings.
Perhaps one reason that readers and film buffs today love and revere Miss Austen is because she was an independent woman living ahead of her time. As far as history reveals, Jane never married. She might have fallen in love with a witty man had she lived to a ripe old age. Sadly, Jane died when she was only 41 years of age.
Yet a strange story exists about the night when Jane Austen fled from the man who proposed marriage. One night, Harris Bigg-Wither proposed to Jane. Jane accepted his proposal. But Jane’s doubts about the forthcoming wedding caused her to escape the next morning.
Thankfully, readers are still able to appreciate Jane’s insight into love and marriage. Living her life in a manner that was ahead of her time, Jane Austen wholeheartedly embraced her love of the written word above everything else.