In Brief

Jane Austen quotes: Best life lessons from the novelist

Famous words to mark the 200th anniversary of the author's death

This year marks the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death and a host of events are being held around the country to celebrate.

Born in Hampshire in 1775, Austen was not widely known when she was alive, but her reputation soared in the 20th century and her novels are now literary classics. She moved to Bath in 1801 and died in 1817 in Winchester at the age of 41.

Several exhibitions are being held across Hampshire this year to mark the anniversary of her death, including The Mysterious Miss Austen at the Winchester Discovery Centre, which will explore her work, life and relationship to Hampshire.

Austen fans can also visit her grave at Winchester Cathedral, take part in a Jane Austen Ladies Luncheon at Tylney Hall Hotel in Hook or attend a day of talks and tours at Chawton House Library and Jane Austen's House Museum.

In Bath, a costumed parade on Saturday 9 September kicks off a festival in the author's honour.

A new commemorative £2 coin featuring her portrait also goes into circulation today, along with a new £10 note.

While Austen's books might conjure up images of women in bonnets and empire-waist gowns, her stories have proved to be timeless - and with them come numerous life lessons that still resonate today. From Pride and Prejudice and Emma to Mansfield Park and Sense and Sensibility, her tales bridge the gap between romance and realism.

Even her early work contains suprises, says The Independent. In three surviving notebooks held by the British Library, a teenage Austen documents – according to Kathryn Sutherland, a professor of English at Oxford – the often "absurd adventures" of "confident, wilful, even rebellious young women" in a series of "exuberantly expressionistic tales of sexual misdemeanour, of female drunkenness and violence".

The cause of her death at the age of 41 is not well-documented. It had been thought that Austen contracted tuberculosis or possibly even cancer. But in 2011 the British Library had tests carried out on three surviving pairs of spectacles owned by the writer. The three pairs of glasses had varying levels of lens-strength, suggesting Austen might have suffered from cataracts. One cause of cataracts is known to be arsenic poisoning. 

However Austen died, she left the world with a fine set of life lessons that still resonate some 200 years on. Click on the gallery for some of the best.

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