In high school, I was required to read Pride and Prejudice, and I fell in love with the book. In college, we read Sense and Sensibility and learned about the background of Jane Austen. I have decided that she would be perfect to write about for Women’s History Month.
Her novels are primarily the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security. She only wrote six complete novels, but is still recognized today as world renowned. But what’s so special for me to highlight her for Women’s History?
First of all, she wrote her first novel at the age of fourteen, which I think is incredible. What’s more outstanding is that way that women were viewed in her time. Women were not authors, writers or poets. They stayed at home and cared for children. Jane Austen never married or had children of her own, she simple wrote about the marriages and lives of others. None of the books published in her life-time had her name on them — they were described as being written “By a Lady”. How many of us would continue to write – and writing is hard work – only to not be recognized for your successes during your lifetime? I wouldn’t.
I believe that Ms. Austen would be proud in how far women have come in writing and publishing; just look at J.K. Rowling, Mary Higgins Clark and Alice Walker.