A Jane Austen Time Line
239 years ago today, Jane Austen was born. I thought we might take a quick survey of her life.
1764-The Reverend George Austen marries Cassandra Leigh. They take up residence at Deane Parsonage in Hampshire.
1765-Brother James was born. Like his sister, James had literary aspirations, but he never knew success.
1766-George Austen was born. Mentally challenged, George was boarded out for most of his life.
1767-Edward Austen was born. Later, he was adopted by Thomas Knight. Because the Knight family had no children, Edward inherited all their property.
1767-The Austens move to Steventon Rectory.
1771-Jane’s brother Henry was born. It was with Henry’s influence that Jane found her publisher.
1773-Cassandra Austen is born.
1774-The first of Jane’s sea-faring brothers, Frank, was born.
1775-On December 16, Jane Austen is born.
1779-Charles Austen was born. Charles spent seven years in the British navy’s efforts in the West Indies.
1783-Jane nearly dies from typhoid fever, which she contracted while attending a boarding school in Oxford.
1787-Jane’s formal education ends, and she begins to write. She preserves scraps of her early writing in Volume the First.
1793-The last pieces are added to Volume the Third. Jane’s nieces Anna and Fanny Austen are born.
1795-Jane writes Elinor and Marianne.
1796-The first of the letters, which were preserved, are dated from this year. For example, in a January letter, Jane writes of flirting with Tom Lefroy, and in an October one, she tells of beginning First Impressions.
1797-Jane finishes First Impressions. It is offered to the publisher, Cadell, who declines Rev. Austen’s presentation of the manuscript.
Jane also begins Sense and Sensibility in 1797.
1798-Jane begins writing Susan. Her nephew (and future biographer), James Edward Austen is born.
1799-Jane finishes Susan. She stays for some time in Queen Square in Bath.
1800-Jane’s parents decide to retire in Bath.
1801-Jane’s parents take a lease on 4 Sydney Place in Bath.
1802-Harris Bigg-Wither proposes.
1803–Susan is sold to publisher Crosby.
1804-Jane’s family moves to Green Park Buildings, Bath.
1805-Rev. George Austen dies. Jane begins The Watsons, which she soon abandons. Her family moves to Gay Street in the spring and then to Trim Street in the autumn.
1807-The Austen women (mother, Jane, and Cassandra) take a house with brother Frank and his wife in Castle Square, Southampton.
1808-Brother Edward offers the Chawton cottage to his mother and sisters.
1809-In July, the women move into the Chawton cottage.
1811-Jane begins writing Mansfield Park. In November, Egerton publishes Sense and Sensibility.
1813-In January, Jane releases Pride and Prejudice. By July, Mansfield Park is finished.
1814-Austen begins Emma in the early part of the year. In May, Mansfield Park is published.
1815-Jane begins Persuasion. Emma is published in December.
1816-Sir Walter Scott gives Emma favorable notice in Quarterly Reviews. In August, Jane finishes Persuasion. She takes ill shortly afterwards.
1817-She begins Sanditon, but abandons it due to her health issues. In July, Jane Austen dies. She is buried in Winchester Cathedral. Persuasion and Northanger Abbey are published posthumously with a Biographical Notice written by Henry.