Cassandra Austen (1773-1845): Background information when reading Miss Austen

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Miss Austen

by Gill Hornby

Miss Austen by Gill Hornby X
Miss Austen by Gill Hornby
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2020, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2021, 304 pages

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Cassandra Austen (1773-1845)

This article relates to Miss Austen

Silhouette of Cassandra Austen Gill Hornby's novel Miss Austen explores Jane Austen's life through the point of view of her beloved older sister, Cassandra. Cassandra is thought to have been Jane's closest companion and confidante. The two were inseparable to the extent that their mother reportedly once commented, "If Cassandra's head had been going to be cut off, Jane would have hers cut off too." While Cassandra clearly had interests and a life of her own, her relationship with her now-famous sister was of great importance to her, and she had a significant influence on Jane's work and legacy.

Cassandra Elizabeth Austen was born on January 9, 1773 to Reverend George Austen and Mrs. Cassandra Leigh Austen. Her sister Jane was born two years later, and the siblings remained the only girls in a family of six brothers. As Reverend Austen ran a boarding school in their home in Steventon, Hampshire, both girls received education from an early age, studying art, music and other subjects. They also briefly attended...

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