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The subject I have chosen to develop this first paper, is the education of women in the Georgian era, for this I used as a tool the novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, in which we can see in a clear way and accurately this question and the importance for the writer.

First, I’ll talk a little about the author to learn more about her story and her life, which will definitely help you to understand all his work in a clearer way.

At the same time, I will look in her novel Pride and Prejudice some aspects of the problem of education of women in his time, and if this is a reflection or not, in the author’s own experience.

Then I will briefly summarize of the argument of the novel. And at the same time, a chronological order of all the works that the author wrote throughout her life.

Finally, there is a conclusion, which I will summarize the most important aspects of my first paper and mention my experience in the performance of work, my impressions and all the good things I got from it.


Jane Austen was born on 16 December 1775 in Steventon, Hampshire, England, being the seventh daughter of George Austen and his wife Cassandra. Mr. Austen gave private lessons to students residing in the home of Austen. The family consisted of seven children, with Jane and her sister Cassandra, the only women. Cassandra and Jane got along very well, and today it retains many of the letters written when they were separated, and that Jane sent other family members.

In 1783, Jane and Cassandra went to the house of Mrs. Cawley, in Southampton, to continue his education under his tutelage, but had to return because of the spread of an infectious disease in Southampton. Later, they were students of a boarding school in Reading, Jane apparently place portrayed in the boarding of Mrs. Goddard that appears in her novel Emma. On the other hand we know that Mr. Austen had an extensive library, and, by her own account in her letters, she and her family were “avid reader of novels, and not at all ashamed of it.” So read Austen novels of Fielding and Richardson, and also read Frances Burney. In fact, she took the title of Pride and Prejudice in a sentence of this author, the novel belongs to Cecilia.

In the years following 1787, Jane Austen wrote Juvenilia, which includes several parodies of the literature of that time which were collected in three volumes later. Between 1795 and 1799 began drafting early versions of the novels that later would be published with the names of Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey. Probably also wrote Lady Susan at this time. In 1797, his father wanted to publish Pride and Prejudice, but the publisher refused.

Moreover, there isn’t evidence that Jane had a man by her side, outside a young love with Thomas Lefroy, at the age of 20 years. However, in January the following year, 1796, he wrote to his sister saying it was over because he could not afford to marry Jane for economic reasons.

In 1800 his father decided to retire to Bath, a city that Jane did not appreciate a lot. While living in Bath, the family used to go to the coast every summer, and was on one of these holidays when Jane met a man who loved her. Upon leaving, they decided to meet again, but he died. What we know about this story does not appear in any of his letters. It is unknown to what extent might this affect Austen, although some believe could inspire his work Persuasion.

In 1803 she sold her novel Northanger Abbey, for £ 10, although the book was not published until fourteen years later. It is also possible that it was then that he began writing The Watsons, but then abandon the idea.

In January 1805 his father died, leaving his wife and daughters in a bad economy because their income had come from his position as parish priest, and once dead, they finished. Economically dependent on their brothers, and the small amount which Cassandra had inherited from her husband.

In 1809 they moved to Chawton, near Alton and Winchester, where his brother Edward gave them a home. This house had the advantage of being in Hampshire, the same county which was the home of his childhood. Once installed, Jane resumed his literary activities revising Sense and Sensibility, which was accepted by a publisher in 1810 or 1811, although the author assumed the risks. Title appeared anonymously in October, with this one note on authorship: “By a Lady”. That was very successful.

Encouraged by this success, she also tried with Pride and Prejudice, which sold in November 1812, and was published in January 1813. At the same time she began working in Mansfield Park. In 1813 the identity of the author of Pride and Prejudice began to spread thanks to the popularity of the work, however, she didn´t receive money by this. In May 1814 appeared Mansfield Park, work from which all copies were sold in just six months, and Austen began work on Emma.

Jane Austen had contracted Addisons Disease, a tubercular disease of the kidneys (see Jane Austen’s Illness by Sir Zachary Cope, British Medical Journal, 18 July 1964 and Australian Addisons Disease Assoc.). No longer able to walk far, she used to drive out in a little donkey carriage which can still be seen at the Jane Austen Museum at Chawton. By May 1817 she was so ill that she and Cassandra, to be near Jane’s physician, rented rooms in Winchester. Tragically, there was then no cure and Jane Austen died in her sister’s arms in the early hours of 18 July, 1817. She was 41 years old. She is buried in Winchester Cathedral.

Pride and prejudice

This classic history of love and misunderstandings takes place in England of the late eighteenth century. The five Bennet sisters, Elizabeth, or Lizzy, Jane, Lydia, Mary and Kitty have been raised by a mother whose only attachment is to find husband, here is the education of women in this age.

But Elizabeth, intelligent and character, like a life with more open outlook, a desire supported by his father. When the rich and single Sr.Bingley installed in a neighboring mansion, the Bennet sisters can not believe his luck. Among the numerous and sophisticated London friends who come to visit and the arrival of several young officers, there will plenty of suitors. Jane, the elder sister of serene beauty, seems to have won the hearts of Mr. Bingley. Lizzy meets the handsome and seemingly proud Sr.Darcy storm is unleashed. They are often and almost always end up arguing. But Lizzy are less willing than ever to accept the Sr.Collins, a distant cousin who has asked for her hand. Supported by her father, her mother surprised and Sr.Colins rejecting Him. When he moved to London Sr.Bingley without warning, breaking the heart of Jane, Lizzy blames Sr.Darcy. But an unexpected crisis with Lydia, the youngest sister, Lizzy allows realizing the true nature of their relationship with the Sr.Darcy. The Bennet sisters and all those around them, after this spate of surprises and excitement that has not left anyone indifferent, understand what is important in life.

Culture in the Georgian era

Culturally, the Georgian era was characterized by the emergence of the novel and the discussion about whether it was a literary quality.

The renaissance of the novel is linked to the emergence of the middle class, which, unlike the nobility, had not been brought up with the classics, not know Latin or Greek nor shared interest in issues of classical literature. Another important factor is that the printing press made it possible for the purchase of books was not accessible to the wealthy classes. The number of books published increased, allowing an increase in the number of professional writers. In other words, a new type of readers led to a new kind of writing.

Today it is recognized that more than half of the authors of novels during this time were women through writing getting some economic independence. It is true that the quality of most of these works left much to be desired, as it was full of topics in language and characters, inheritance of the Gothic novel. As for the position of Austen, she defends the novel as a genre of quality.

During Jane Austen’s time there was no education system, education of children took place in Sunday schools, or wealthy families, through a governess and tutors. There were also some “schools for women”, who otherwise had a bad reputation because” real” education was received there was very poor.

On the other hand, it was common to send their sons to live in the home of a tutor, as was the father of Jane Austen. Growing up in that house, possibly the author was a highly educated woman for her time.

Many treaties of conduct for young women were popularized in the eighteenth century, teaching doctrines and moral education focusing towards domestic issues, religion and the “talents”, and isolation from those other skills that would cause women to be undesirable eyes of men.

Jane Austen in her novels advocates a liberal education for women, away from all these “talents”,believing that the lack of reasonableness carries great risk for social life, for the election of a positive future and married life . In her novels, Jane Austen claims the right of women to decide who and when to marry. Her heroines are educated beyond singing and embroidery: know of literature and politics, and are indignant when men deny women the opportunity to cultivate. Here, not only the protagonists end up marrying but do so with a responsible, sensible, who loves and respects.

In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen mentions those “talents” which were supposed to be for women to be considered valid in that society:

“I find it incredible,” said Bingley, “how all the girls have so much patience to cultivate all these talents. “All paint, screens and make lining mesh bags. Had not met one who can not do all this, and I am sure which I have never spoken to a girl for the first time without referírseme how talented he was.”

“A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and modern languages to deserve the word (talented) and, besides all this, there must be something in the air and on his walk , in the tone of his voice, in his way of relating to people and their speech, not, not fully deserve the word. ”

Moreover, Austen was the first writer who dared masses explicitly criticize certain behaviors and habits of a society that gave women equal rights with men, it was considered that a woman was a woman with knowledge of danger .

Finally we conclude that Jane Austen defends his liberal education for women, away from all these “talents”, believing that the lack of reasonableness carries great risk for social life, for the election of a positive future and married life.

Chronological order

We will group the six novels she wrote into two different periods. During the first, Pride and Prejudice, considered the best of her novels, which began writing in 1796, but not published until 1813. Also in this period, Sense and Sensibility (1811), and Northanger Abbey (1818).

Her second creative period began in 1811, and scored her recovery after twelve years of creative hiatus. Mansfield Park (1814), Emma (1816) and Persuasion, are titles that matched this time.

Long after her death appeared several incomplete novels as The Watson, Fragments of a novel, a novel Plan and correspondence, published under the title of Letters.


For ending this work, I will say that after having worked so hard in my First Paper on Jane Austen, sincerely I think she was a great author, with a very delicate way to convey her thoughts and feelings, and extremely good at causing sensations in the reader to read one of her novels.

It should be noted that she was lucky to have access to education, which is very strange as we noted at the time, let alone being a woman. She was an educated woman and instructed and this is reflected in all his work. She was a fighter and decided to move on and live her life doing what he loved most in life: writing.

Her novels, her form of expression, how externalizes her deepest feelings and beliefs in a manner so admirable, made her one of the best writers of her time; thing that I’m sure after making this blog.

I believe that knowledge of her life is very important to understand her work, finally concluded by saying that made me look forward the realization of this little corner of Austen, which has undoubtedly become one of my favorite writers.


Austen, Jane. Orgullo y Prejuicio. Madrid: Cátedra, 1987. Print

Kelly, Gary. Jane Austen, British Romantic Novelists. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.






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