Jane Austen is certainly one of the best known and most popular female writers of all time. Her works have always been in print even when not as celebrated as they are today. Her realistic narrations didn’t go along with the ideas of Romanticism and Victorianism so well but, her satirical critique of the popular sensational novels of the Romantic period are beloved again and often adapted especially by movies. It is, however, not only the social criticism in Austen’s novels (especially regarding women); but also, and maybe even more so, the beautiful love stories which make her narrations, up and foremost Pride and Prejudice of course, so exceptionally popular. Surely, Lovers of Romance all over the world root for enchanting Miss Elizabeth Bennet and aloof Mr Darcy. Not surprising, I must admit, declarations of love like “You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” have great power and I imagine many readers (or other audiences) melt away with sighs of longing. Apart from stirring up feelings, Austen’s works are also quite useful in an educational context for exploring the historical background of the times, especially regarding the social status of women who were depending on their husbands and therefore, of course, on marrying first. Thus, she criticises opportunistic relationships and also the prejudices accompanying class relations and social backgrounds.
So now here we are, happily celebrating her 245th birthday – Cheers!