Pressed flowers found in a 19th century school book printed in 1844
I’m more than just a piece in their Games.
On this day in 1817, died the English writer Jane Austen, who wrote works like “Pride and Prejudice” and “Sense and Sensibility”.
"I have lost a treasure, such a sister, such a friend as never can have been surpassed. She was the sun of my life, the gilder of every pleasure, the soother of every sorrow; I had not a thought concealed from her, and it is as if I had lost a part of myself"-her sister, Cassandra Austen.
Early in 1816, Jane Austen began to feel unwell. She ignored her illness at first and continued to work and to participate in the usual round of family activities. By the middle of that year, her decline was unmistakable to Austen and to her family, and Austen’s physical condition began a long, slow, and irregular deterioration culminating in her death the following year.
Austen continued to work in spite of her illness. Austen made light of her condition to others, describing it as “Bile” and rheumatism, but as her disease progressed she experienced increasing difficulty walking or finding the energy for other activities.
By mid-April, Austen was confined to her bed. In May, Cassandra and Henry escorted Jane to Winchester for medical treatment. Austen died in Winchester on 18 July 1817, at the age of 41. Henry, through his clerical connections, arranged for his sister to be buried in the north aisle of the nave of Winchester Cathedral.
“The more I read the more I admire and respect and do reverence… When she looks straight at a man or a woman, she is greater than those who were alive with her - by a whole head… with a more delicate hand and a keener scalpel…”-Rudyard Kipling, who was a great admirer of Jane.