Happy Birthday, Jane Austen! On December 16, Jane Austen, every book club's favorite female author, would have been 236, had she been alive. She is the author of six celebrated novels, in addition to a handful of short works, letters and poems. Ms. Austen's work has been noted as much for its wit and keen observations on life as for its unforgettable characters and the impossible romantic situations they find themselves in the middle of. Austen's novels are like the Three's Company of the Regency Era.
Writing as a woman in the 1800s was not an easy task, especially when your novels focused on women and their social status in the world. Austen published most of her works anonymously and received little in the way of literary reviews. She died, sadly, at the young age of 47.
In the past few years, Jane Austen's popularity has skyrocketed. Multiple adaptations of her work have been made into films, BBC specials and some have even been updated into contemporary times; 1995's Clueless was based on the Austen novel Emma. Recently, her novels have even been transformed into fantasy/horror works such as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which expands upon the original story.
What we found very sad about Ms. Austen's life is that she was never married (It's rumored she had a longtime love, but never been validated). Here is this woman who has imagined some of our culture's favorite romances, and she may have died without one of her own.