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Jane Austen: 1775-1817

June 12, 2017

Jane Austen:  1775-1817

Jane Austen died on July 18, 1817, at the age of 41. We invite you to post a tribute in the Memorial Book in celebration of her life and work and in commemoration of the bicentenary of her death.

This virtual Memorial Book is moderated to prevent spamming and off-topic posts. Comments will not appear immediately.


  • Katie Marks Jan 9, 2018, 7:13 PM (6 years ago)

    I remember cozy Minnesota-winter nights in college when my roommate would read me Austen snippets from her English lit class. I loved them so much that, even as a geology major, I took the 400-level intensive Jane Austen class my senior year. Because of the insightful professor, hopeful classmates, and shared movie nights, I have been an avid Jane Austen lover ever since. I hope to always carry Austen's lessons with me, and maybe even learn a little bit of her wit along the way. Thank you, roommate, class, and most of all: Jane Austen.

  • Mary Graff Ashley Jan 7, 2018, 4:14 PM (6 years ago)

    Only a timeless genius like our Jane could write words that strike me to the heart even at this very moment, as I am having trouble connecting with some extended family members. My own mother was the perfect kind. But the way Fanny thinks of her mother reminds me of my feelings for another family member. Every word is truth, even two hundred years later and across the pond! Holidays do bring out the strongest feelings in us all, I am sure.
    To have created a personage such as Fanny, who feels so deeply and knows her own mind, and whom I understand completely, is such a treasure to me. This is my thank you and contribution to this online chamber of praise for Miss Austen!
    "Much of all this Fanny could not but be sensible of. She might scruple to make use of the words, but she must and did feel that her mother was a partial, ill-judging parent, a dawdle, a slattern, who neither taught nor restrained her children, whose house was the scene of mismanagement and discomfort from beginning to end, and who had no talent, no conversation, no affection towards herself; no curiosity to know her better, no desire of her friendship, and no inclination for her company that could lessen her sense of such feelings. . . . . .
    Such was the home which was to put Mansfield out of her head, and teach her to think of her cousin Edmund with moderated feelings. On the contrary, she could think of nothing but Mansfield, its beloved inmates, its happy ways. Everything where she now was in full contrast to it. The elegance, propriety, regularity, harmony, and perhaps, above all, the peace and tranquillity of Mansfield, were brought to her remembrance every hour of the day, by the prevalence of everything opposite to them here."

  • Sharon E. Strong Jan 7, 2018, 8:02 AM (6 years ago)

    My dear Jane,
    When I first read one of your novels, pulled at whim from a college roommate's bookshelf, I am embarrassed to admit I didn't understand what the fuss was about. I was as clueless as Emma Woodhouse herself. A few years later, when I was the age of Anne Elliot, I must have become wiser as well as older: I bought a volume of your complete novels as a birthday gift for that same friend, but decided to read a bit of it myself first. I ended up getting my friend a different gift and wore that first volume out with uncountable re-readings. In the decades since, you have provoked my curiosity, inspired my wonder, provided me with consolation, and compounded my appreciation for your life and work. You have become for me a magnificent obsession, my secular saint. Thank you.
    Yours with great affection,

  • Michele Lord Jan 5, 2018, 3:04 PM (6 years ago)

    “And pictures of perfection, as you know, make me sick and wicked.” That's the very essence of Jane! I'm sure she would never have imagined or believed the impact she would have on future generations. With legions of devoted fans around the world, she'd probably think we're a little bit nuts, but would secretly enjoy it...
    We salute your genius, Jane Austen! Your candle burned out long before your legend ever will...

  • Lesley Davidson Jan 5, 2018, 7:51 AM (6 years ago)

    I absolutely love Jane Austen. She writes so that it is a pleasure to read her books over and over and discover something new each time. Her writing also reflects on the now and not just the past. She was very clever indeed. My interests lie in the behavior of humans, and she seemed to have a wonderful grasp of that. Thank you Jane Austen for being you, and sharing some insights into the human condition.

  • Lorraine MacPhee Jan 3, 2018, 11:30 AM (6 years ago)

    Thank you Miss Jane Austen for all that you have shared with us. Your books have been great conversation starters with new "Jane" friends. Through the years, like others, I have enjoyed rereading each book.

  • Ann Jan 3, 2018, 8:18 AM (6 years ago)

    I've been reading (and re-reading) Jane Austen's books for five decades. Every time I re-read one of her books, I notice something I didn't "see" before. I always feel like I'm reading a new novel, because her language, characters, and plot are so well written. Wouldn't it have been wonderful to see how she would have completed her unfinished novels? And to be able to read novels based on ideas she already had? What a tragedy she had such a short life! Thank you, Jane, my favorite author of all time!

  • Debra Cox Jan 3, 2018, 3:47 AM (6 years ago)

    Jane in heaven,
    Thank you for your books with happy endings! And for the pianoforte and delightful English country dancing in your stories. So glad music was in your life and the good Lord was, too. Thank you for men like Mr. Darcy and Captain Wentworth. Thank you for you.
    Debra Cox

  • Susan D. Williams Jan 2, 2018, 9:11 AM (6 years ago)

    Dear Jane ~ The first time I heard of you or read any of your writings was in an Women's Lit class in junior college. We read Northanger Abbey. It is still my favorite. I've even gone so far as to read the Mysteries of Udolpho! Over the years, the enjoyment from reading and sharing your works has not waned. My favorite quote from you is "There is nothing like staying home for real comfort." Thank you for your enduring inspiration and inner strength.

  • April Harkins Crusco, Ph.D. Jan 2, 2018, 7:26 AM (6 years ago)

    Jane Austen was perhaps my greatest teacher, without whom I would not be who I am today.

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