Archive for the ‘Jane Austen’s Birthday’ Category

by Brenda S. Cox

Happy Jane Austen’s Birthday! 247 years and still going strong (at least through her books)!

Born Dec. 16, 1775, Jane was a month later than expected. Her father joked that he and his wife had become “bad reckoners” in their “old age”–he was 44 and Jane’s mother was 36. Jane was their seventh child, but only the second girl. The delivery went quickly and safely.

It was a very cold winter, so Jane was baptized privately at home the next day, and not presented in church (St. Nicholas’ at Steventon, where her father was rector) until April 5, 1776.

Image of Jane Austen holding balloons
Jane Austen doesn’t look very happy in this birthday picture, but her parents were delighted at her arrival! Her father said they would call her Jenny, and she would be a playmate for her older sister Cassy (Cassandra) who ended up being her lifelong friend.

Jane Austen Society groups around the world are celebrating today and tomorrow, so see what your local group is doing! Here are a couple of online events that look fun:

Jane Austen’s House, Chawton, Hampshire, England (virtual)

What is it about Jane? at the New York Public Library (virtual)

Also, a brand-new volume of Persuasions On-Line is now available, with articles from this year’s AGM, and other delights! Easily accessed by everyone, thanks to JASNA’s generosity! You’ll find articles on gender and the decorative arts, the education of daughters, information and privacy in S&S and P&P, “Kitty, a Fair but Frozen Maid” in Emma, costume design in Austen films, my own article on faith words in S&S, and many more fascinating topics. 

Happy Birthday, Jane!


Brenda S. Cox writes on Faith, Science, Joy, and Jane Austen. Her new book, Fashionable Goodness: Christianity in Jane Austen’s England is available on amazon and at Jane Austen Books, and would make a great birthday or Christmas present! :-)

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