All of Jane Austen's novels have always been successfully turned into films and mini-series. The BBC has recently started to re-produce almost all of them, only Emma is still missing. The recent BBC productions are regarded as being really close to the original novel:
Pride and Prejudice (1995), starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth.
Sense and Sensibility (2008), starring Lucy Boynton and Hattie Morahan.
Mansfield Park (2007), starring Billie Piper.
Northhanger Abbey (2007), starring Felicity Jones.
Persuasion (2007), starring Sally Hawkins and Rupert Penry-Jones.
In July, 2002, a first edition of Pride and Prejudice was sold for £40,000 (about $75,000) at Lyon and Turnbull, in Edinburgh.
Jane's first book to be published was Sense and Sensibility (1811). However, throughout her life the author remained anonymous.
Jane's first version of Pride and Prejudice was called First Impressions, and when her father offered it to a publisher in 1797 he refused to look at it. Fifteen years later, another publisher, Thomas Egerton, accepted the book, by then greatly changed. The final title is from a book by Frances Burney called Cecilia.
Jane died in the arms of her sister Cassandra.
At her death, Jane left two finished novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both of which were published posthumously, and also two unfinished works, one called The Watsons and the other Sanditon.
Only one authentic portrait of Jane is known to exist, a watercolour drawing by her sister Cassandra, now in the National Portrait Gallery, London.
Sir Walter Scott (of Jane Austen's work): That young lady has a talent for describing the involvements of feelings and characters of ordinary life which is to me the most wonderful I ever met with.
Although not certain, it is believed that Jane may have died from Addison's disease, a malfunction of the adrenal glands.
Jane lived at several places, all in the south of England: Steventon, Hampshire, where her father was rector; then Oxford, Southampton and Reading, Berkshire, in the way of education; then the city of Bath, where her father decided to retire in 1800; then Southampton again, where Jane lived with one of her brothers after her father's death; and finally Chawton, Hampshire, where Jane and her mother lived in a cottage on her brother Edward's estate.
When she was only seven, Jane was sent to Southampton to be taught by an aunt by marriage, Mrs Cawley. She was later educated at the Reading Ladies School, a boarding establishment in the Abbey Gatehouse at Reading, Berkshire.
When she was in her twenties, Jane was in love with a man who died suddenly.
Jane preferred country life to city life. Like Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, she enjoyed long country walks. However, she also loved social gatherings, especially balls.
Like most English ladies of her day, Jane played the piano. In Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet says she "plays ill", and wishes to learn to do better on the piano, and that probably speaks for Jane herself.
Jane's father, the Reverend George Austen, was a Church of England parish priest. When he retired as Rector of Steventon, in 1800, one of his six sons took over the living from him.
Jane had six brothers and one sister. She was the last but one of the family to be born.
In 2004, Bollywood adapted Jane's Pride and Prejudice under the title Bride & Prejudice.
One of the houses Jane lived in in Bath, England, is now a public museum devoted to her, called the Jane Austen Centre.
Charlotte Brontë: Anything like warmth or enthusiasm, anything energetic, poignant, heartfelt, is utterly out of place in commending these works: all such demonstrations the authoress would have met with a well-bred sneer, would have calmly scorned as 'outré' or extravagant... Jane Austen was a complete and most sensible lady, but a very incomplete and rather insensible (not senseless) woman.
Jane published all of her books anonymously, so during her life-time she was not generally known to be a writer at all.
In 1802, when she was twenty-seven, Jane received a proposal of marriage from a rich young man called Harris Bigg-Wither, who was only twenty-one. Her family approved. Jane found Harris unattractive, but she knew that with no dowry, this might be her last chance of marriage, and she accepted him. The next day she changed her mind and quickly fled Hampshire for Bath.
She is buried in Winchester Cathedral.
Two of Jane's brothers became admirals in the Royal Navy: Frank Austen (1774-1865) and Charles Austen (1779-1852).
Jane spoke French fluently, and as a child she also learnt Latin.
In a BBC poll, Jane was named the seventieth Greatest Briton of all time.
Jane Austen: A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.
Jane Austen: If a woman doubts as to whether she should accept a man or not, she certainly ought to refuse him. If she can hesitate as to Yes, she ought to say No, directly.
Jane Austen: I think I may boast myself to be, with all possible vanity, the most unlearned and uninformed female who ever dared to be an authoress.
Jane Austen: To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.
Jane Austen: A person who can write a long letter with ease, cannot write ill.
Jane Austen: I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal.
Jane Austen: I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice, though not in principle.