|Alison Steadman as Mrs Bennet (1995)|
Today is Mother's Day in the UK, Jane Austen's country, and author Victoria Grossack wants to celebrate it with us, sharing this brilliant post about Jane Austen's mothers. Thank you so much, Victoria!
Jane Austen is celebrated for many things: her wit, her irony, her insight into the human heart, her romances, and her skill in creating characters. This article looks at Jane Austen’s mothers, the ones she brought to life in her stories.
The mothers in Jane Austen’s novels differ in each book. In part this is due to her mastery of characters – they are all unique and three-dimensional – but they also reflect Jane Austen and her own development as a person and an author. Jane Austen had two main writing periods. When she was young, before 1800, she wroteNorthanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. These books were not published until later, and certainly they were revised, but the mothers in them reflect the author’s youthful attitude. Between 1800 and 1809 Jane did not produce much, mostly because her life was unsettled.The novels that she wrote later, after finding a new home in Chawton – MansfieldPark, Emma and Persuasion– show motherhood with greater maturity.