Today is the 200th Anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” I thought in honor of the date we would take a quick look at the process of having her works published. Most of Austen’s story lines went through several revisions before the lady knew fruition. She reportedly made extensive changes in both “Sense and Sensibility” and “Pride and Prejudice.”
Sense and Sensibility was completed in 1795, but it did not know publication until 1811. (That is a sixteen year span. For authors who think they will write the next best seller and have it immediately caught up by an agent and publisher, this is a very sobering fact.)
Mansfield Park was finished in 1812 and was published two years later in 1814. (This appears to be Austen’s attempt at sentimentality. “Mansfield Park” does not enjoy the same level of popularity as Austen’s other novels.)
Pride and Prejudice knew a similar fate. Austen wrote the original manuscript in 1796. It was published in 1813. (Seventeen years of rejection. It makes me admire Austen more.)
Austen began Northanger Abbey in 1798. The book was published posthumously in 1817. (That time period is nearly two decades!)
Emma was finished in 1814 and published in 1815. Obviously, the success of Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice aided Austen in this process.
Finally, Persuasion was completed in 1815 and published posthumously in 1817.