"Steventon: December 17, 1775.
DEAR SISTER,--You have doubtless been for some time in expectation of hearing from Hampshire, and perhaps wondered a little we were in our old age grown such bad reckoners, but so it was, for Cassy certainly expected to have been brought to bed a month ago; however, last night the time came, and without a great deal of warning, everything was soon happily over. We have now another girl, a present plaything for her sister Cassy, and a future companion. She is to be Jenny, and seems to me as if she would be as like Harry as Cassy is to Neddy. Your sister, thank God, is pure well after it."
-Letter from Reverend George Austen, Jane's father
Born 236 years ago in the little village Parsonage at Steventon, not even Jane Austen's parents could have dreamed how popular and well known their daughter's name would become. In fact I'm sure all their hopes for their daughter would have centered around her health and goodness. Jane's family were her biggest supporters in her literary pursuits. She drew from what she knew and created characters and stories that were true to life.
I recently discovered this lovely quote:
"Miss Austen understood the smallness of life to perfection. She was a great artist equal in her small sphere to Shakespeare..." - Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1870
I love this quote because it perfectly sums up my sentiments on this occasion:
"Jane lies in Winchester -- blessed be her shade!
Praise the Lord for making her, and her for all she made!
And while the stones of Winchester, or Milsom Street, remain,
Glory, love, and honor unto England's Jane! "
- Rudyard Kipling, Epigraph to "The Janeites"
I do thank the Lord for creating Miss Austen and giving her such a clever mind to create all those amazing stories and characters. I could long sing her merits but all I simply wish to say is: Happy Birthday dearest Jane Austen!
What would you give Miss Austen for her birthday?What would say if you got to wish Miss Austen "Happy Birthday" in person?