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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.


  • Judee Schumacher Pronovost Jul 18, 2017, 3:44 PM (2 years ago)

    Jane, you changed my life in so many ways. I have enjoyed your novels for most of my life. I feel closest to you when I am enjoying and teaching English Country Dance. Long may your books be read and enjoyed by the ages that follow.

  • Valerie Sopher Jul 18, 2017, 3:24 PM (2 years ago)

    Three days ago I paid homage to Jane when I visited Chawton. I had the privilege to be in the room where she wrote, look out the same windows and walk where she walked. She gifted generations of readers and will withstand the test of time.

  • E.P. Clark Jul 18, 2017, 3:05 PM (2 years ago)

    Whenever things are really tough, it's Austen's works that I turn too. All of life is reflected in them, and all in such exquisite prose that it makes the rest of us writers want to cry with envy. I wish she had had the time to write 16 or 60 novels instead of 6, but I am profoundly grateful every day for the 6 that we have.
    Here's a quote that never fails to make me laugh:
    "You and I will have a nice basin of gruel together. My dear Emma, suppose we all have a little gruel."
    Emma could not suppose any such thing, knowing, as she did, that both the Mr. Knightleys were as unpersuadable on that article as herself, and two basins only were ordered. After a little more discourse in praise of gruel, with some wondering at its not being taken every evening by everybody, he proceeded to say, with an air of grave reflection:
    "It was an awkward business, my dear, your spending the autumn at Southend."

  • Susan Anthone Jul 18, 2017, 2:54 PM (2 years ago)

    A few years ago while visiting Winchester cathedral I placed some small wild daisies that I had picked along the roadside of our rural B&B on her tomb. I thought she would have liked that. Thank you Miss Austen for giving us so much.

  • Jessie Jul 18, 2017, 2:32 PM (2 years ago)

    Dearest Jane, You are my favorite author, and I can’t put into words what you have meant to me. I first read Pride and Prejudice at the age of eleven, and quickly sought out your other five novels. It’s not an exaggeration to say your books have changed my life. I will always be sad you didn’t live long enough to write even more, but I am so grateful for the works you left behind. Thank you for everything Jane! Here’s to another 200 years of your influence.

  • Lisa Marie Bruno Jul 18, 2017, 2:31 PM (2 years ago)

    My dearest Jane,
    You and I would have been such wonderful companions, as both of us write of love and romance and yet choose to remain solitary in our own lives. I have given this matter many arduous hours of thought over these past five and twenty years since I first became introduced to your writings. I speculated as to why this is such a reality. Then, after pondering many conclusions, I believe I have found the answer. I do believe that you and I create men that do not exist and therefore choose to remain single, you know my friend… “Stronger alone.”
    I know that any addition of a gentleman caller in my life would hinder my creative visions and I would not be able to create the men that we write about so effectively.
    So yes dearest Jane, I do believe we would have laughed, cried and cultivated a fine friendship you and I and as to quote you my dearest friend, “Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.”
    Your twenty-first century friend,
    Lisa Marie

  • Raymond Oliver Jul 18, 2017, 2:14 PM (2 years ago)

    Thinking About Jane Austen

    I wasn’t then. But since that past
    And I, however glassed
    Off, are in touch, by what sublime
    Agent do flesh and time
    Turn so ethereal, so concrete,
    That through the years we meet?

    Her words, by which the figurative --
    “As if alive” -- does live;
    As if the glass, as sheer as air,
    Became in truth not there.

    from "In Honor of Jane Austen, 2017"
    Raymond Oliver

  • Kandie Carle Jul 18, 2017, 2:04 PM (2 years ago)

    Your humor, your savvy and your quintessential storytelling will never be matched. Others have tried, but there is only one Jane Austen. Your intelligence, your style and your love of music & dance, have all made a fan out of an otherwise peripheral lurker .....my husband. You are so much more than chic-lit. You are 200 years young. And 200 years from now, when they are still commemorating (and lamenting) your passing, I believe many of the words shared here will resonate. Thank you Miss Austen, JA, for enriching our lives, and the lives of so many others, for more than 200 years. We raise a glass in cheer to you!

  • Nancy van Deusen Jul 18, 2017, 1:58 PM (2 years ago)

    I have always loved her work. What a treasure she was.

  • Deanna Parsi Jul 18, 2017, 1:57 PM (2 years ago)

    From a 1905 book review: "...we, on the other hand, bow down to Mrs. Jennings as one of the few persons in fiction whom it is equally delightful to have met on paper and not to have met in the flesh."
    Thank you, Miss Austen, for Mrs. Jennings. And Mr. Collins, Mrs. Elton, Mrs. Norris and all of your characters that run so true to life, and to the ridiculous.
    "For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?”

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