Jane Austen was a well-known author who published several classics in her time. Austen was born in 1775 in Steventon, Hampshire, England. While not well known while she was alive, Austen became a widely-known name in the mid-late 1800s when her novels became incredibly popular. Described as novels of both romance and realism, some of her works include Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility.
Austen was born to well-respected parents as the seventh child and second daughter in her family. She and her siblings were encouraged to think creatively, read, and be imaginative from a young age.
Austen and her sister Cassandra attended boarding school for a short while before she was a teenager, but due to financial issues they returned home. During this time, both girls caught typhus and nearly died.
Austen was always fascinated by stories and as a teenager began to write, filling notebooks that eventually progressed to short stories, collections of poems, and eventually novels. She lived a very social life, and through regular attendance of cotillions became quite a good dancer. She would read to her family every evening, often selecting her own works-in-progress to share with them.
After moving to Bath in 1801 with her family, her father soon died and the family fell on harder times. They struggled financially and the women were forced to move around quite a lot with various family members before eventually settling with her brother Edward in Chawton in 1809. At age 41, in 1816, Austen became sick. It is unknown exactly she suffered from, but many suspect it to be Addison’s disease. She continued to work and died about a year later in 1817 in Winchester, Hampshire, England.
Contributions to the Tessera:
While away at boarding school, Austen first heard whispers of the Tessera. At that point she was not yet an accomplished writer, not to mention still very young, so she did not join right then. However, when her family began to move around in the early 1800s, Austen encountered another Tessera member and was inducted into the society. Unfortunately, it is still unknown who exactly she met. Austen used her profoundly creative mind and love of stories to help introduce some complexity into the Tessera puzzles. She also implemented her creativity into the design of some of the rooms of Horsley Towers after the Tessera took it over. This is particularly evident in level eight, where elements of creativity and imagination are particularly important. The room also vaguely echoes a ballroom, a contribution likely inspired by those she frequented as a young adult.